Policy Speech Addressed to the First Session of
the Ninth Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
May 24, 1990
At present a sharp confrontation and struggle between socialism and imperialism and between progress and reaction are continuing in the international arena.
Owing to the cunning and shameless acts of the imperialists to realize their wild dream for world supremacy, successive unexpected and complicated events are taking place in many parts of the world, and the people’s socialist cause is facing a grave challenge. This is arousing great anxiety among the progressive people throughout the world who value justice and the future of mankind and aspire to independence.
While adhering to power politics, the imperialists are now resorting to what they call the “peaceful transition” strategy to undermine socialism. They are attempting to turn the socialist countries back to capitalism by paralyzing the people’s revolutionary consciousness through ideological and cultural infiltration, bribing them economically with “aid” as a bait, and brewing socio-political disturbances by instigating anti-socialist elements.
The imperialists are cheering as they clamour about the “crisis of socialism”, but this is ridiculous. It is imperialism and none other that is now suffering from an incurable malady. The imperialists themselves are falling into an irretrievable crisis. Imperialism, whose days are numbered, cannot decide the people’s destiny, nor can it reverse the tide of history.
The imperialists, the reactionaries of history, seek to maintain the outmoded society in which exploitation and oppression of man by man prevail, whereas the popular masses, the motive force of history, desire to build a new society free from exploitation and oppression, a society in which everybody leads an independent and creative life as the master of the state and society and as the master of his own destiny. The advance along the road of socialism is the main trend of historical progress. Socialism is the only road for mankind to take.
Socialism, which was made a reality for the first time by the Great October Socialist Revolution and has made a victorious advance since then, has eliminated the age-long, outmoded societies and become both the motive force of history creating new people-orientated societies and the banner of man’s emancipation, a banner that inspires the world’s people in their struggle for independence.
Since the way to socialism is an untrodden path, socialism may encounter unexpected obstacles in its progress and suffer temporary setbacks. Also, the way of building socialism has to be improved steadily in accordance with the changing and developing situation. When shortcomings have been revealed in the building of socialism, they must be corrected without hesitation by drawing appropriate lessons from them. It is a recognized fact that criticism and self-criticism are the motive power for the development of socialist society.
The point is how to overcome the obstacles that lie in the way of the advance and how to continue with the socialist cause. Socialism, which is based on collectivism, is a society that develops on principles that are fundamentally different from those of capitalism, which is based on individualism. It is incomparably superior to capitalism. If one abandons socialist principles and tries to find solutions to problems in capitalist methods when facing difficulties in the course of building socialism, one will be unable to overcome the obstacles and, worse still, will neutralize the inherent advantages of socialism, find oneself in confusion and lose even the revolutionary achievements made by shedding one’s blood.
Socialism can only be built on socialist principles and by socialist methods. All the problems arising in the building of socialism must always be solved on the basis of socialist theories, on the principle of bringing the advantages of socialism into play, and by giving rein to the inexhaustible creativity of the popular masses, the motive force of the revolution. When the situation is complex and the reactionary offensive is being stepped up, the revolutionary people must hold fast to revolutionary principles and advance, holding higher the banner of socialism.
Independence, peace and friendship are the basic ideals of the foreign policy of our Republic, and these are of universal significance in developing international relations to make independence prevail across the whole world. The Government of the Republic will, in the future, too, consistently follow its foreign policy of independence, peace and friendship.
Independence is the lifeblood of an independent and sovereign state and the basis of all international relations. Every country is an equal member of the international community and has equal sovereignty. In the world there are large and small countries but there can be no senior or junior ones. Therefore, all countries must be ensured complete equality based on independence in international relations.
The Government of the Republic will firmly adhere to an independent stand, will formulate its foreign policy in the interests of our people and in the common interests of the progressive people throughout the world and will invariably follow an independent foreign policy however complicated the situation. We are opposed to every manner of aggression and foreign interference, reject imperialism, colonialism and racism and give strong support to the peoples of all countries in their struggle for their sovereignty and for national and class liberation.
Opposing war and safeguarding peace is the common desire of mankind. The people can succeed in building a new, independent and prosperous society only when a climate of peace is guaranteed.
In order to prevent war and safeguard peace, disarmament must be realized, nuclear weapons be completely abolished, and troops and military bases of aggression in foreign countries be withdrawn. The peace-loving people throughout the world must sharpen their vigilance against the imperialists’ moves to disarm the socialist countries and to hold supremacy over them under the cloak of “disarmament” and “detente”. They must not tolerate the imperialists’ armed intervention and military aggression against other countries. Peace must be won through a principled struggle against the imperialists’ moves for an arms build-up and against their war policy, and not by begging them for it or by unilateral concessions.
The Government of the Republic will work hard to frustrate the imperialist policy of aggression and war and to make the Korean peninsula a nuclear-free, peace zone, and will give strong support and encouragement to the anti-war, anti-nuclear peace movement of the people in many lands.
The struggle for independence prevailing throughout the world is the common cause of the world’s people, and the motive force of this struggle is the world’s people who advocate independence. It is only when friendship and solidarity among the people throughout the world are strengthened that the obstructive manoeuvres of the imperialists can be frustrated, global independence be promoted successfully and the independent development of each nation be guaranteed. The progressive people throughout the world, who advocate independence, must counter the imperialist manoeuvres for division and alienation with a strategy of unity. “Let the world’s people advocating independence unite!” is the international slogan of our times.
The Government of the Republic will strengthen its unity and solidarity with the socialist countries on socialist principles and in the spirit of comradely cooperation and will strive to consolidate the unity and cohesion of the Non-aligned Movement and to develop the relations of friendship and cooperation between our country and the non-aligned and developing nations. We will develop South-South cooperation in all fields of politics, the economy and culture on the principle of collective self-reliance. The Government of the Republic will also establish friendly relations with the capitalist countries which respect our sovereignty and will develop economic and cultural exchanges on the principles of equality and mutual respect.
Mankind’s cause of independence, the cause of socialism, will surely emerge victorious by overcoming the obstacles and difficulties that lie in the way of its advance. The wicked reactionary moves to check historical progress have not begun only recently. The progress of human history has always passed through fierce struggles against reactionaries, but their manoeuvres against the trend of the times have always failed. Victory and glory will certainly await the people who are struggling with confidence in the cause of justice and with an unshakable conviction in a bright future, full of optimism.
Our people are entrusted with an honourable mission by the times and history to pave the road of independence, the road of socialism, successfully under the banner of the Juche idea.
Let all of us fight resolutely, closely united around our Party and the Government of the Republic, to accelerate the complete victory of socialism and to hasten the independent, peaceful reunification of the country.