Kim Jong Il (1942-2011), eternal Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, directed all his efforts to realizing the reunification cause of the Korean nation.
Pursuant to his will to implement the lifetime instructions of President Kim Il Sung (1912-1994), the founding father of socialist Korea, the monument bearing the President’s last signature on a document on national reunification was erected at Panmunjom on the Military Demarcation Line, the symbol of Korea’s division. When he visited the monument in November 1996, he said that the President had instructed that the biggest present he could give to his people was the country’s reunification and he would achieve the country’s reunification at any cost and present a reunified country to the people.
He published in August 1997 the work Let Us Carry Out the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung’s Instructions for National Reunification, in which he formulated the three principles of national reunification, the ten-point programme of the great unity of the whole nation and the plan for founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo as the three charters for national reunification. And he put forward the five-point policy for the great national unity in his work Let Us Reunify the Country Independently and Peacefully through the Great Unity of the Entire Nation published in April 1998, illuminating the way for accomplishing the cause of reunification.
The severe difficulties and ordeals faced by the DPRK following the demise of President Kim Il Sung on July 8, 1994, became great obstacles in the effort of the Korean nation to accomplish the cause of reunification. The US-led imperialist allied forces grew more frenzied in their attempt to isolate and stifle the DPRK and provoke a new war to exterminate socialist Korea, while south Korean authorities were hell-bent on inciting internal conflicts.
Chairman Kim Jong Il, holding higher the banner of Songun, firmly safeguarded his country and people and prepared the powerful political and military forces for achieving independent reunification of the country. Thanks to his Songun-based leadership the Korean People’s Army was strengthened into invincible armed forces and the overall national power of the country was consolidated in every aspect to frustrate any attempt of the US and south Korean authorities to start a war of aggression. The Korean nation became full of national pride and confidence in the future of national reunification, witnessing that the DPRK won one victory after another in confrontation with the US, the self-styled “only superpower.”
It is the greatest exploit noteworthy in the history of the Korean nation that Chairman Kim Jong Il ensured that the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and October 4 Declaration were adopted, opening up a new era of independent reunification, era of By Our Nation Itself.
In 2000 at the turn of the century, the situation in and around the Korean peninsula changed in favour of north-south relations and the realization of national reunification.
The DPRK brought the unprecedented “Arduous March” to a successful conclusion and vigorously advanced along the road towards great prosperity.
As the three-way solidarity of the Koreans in the north, south and abroad was consolidated and the movement of national reunification became more organized and activated on a nationwide scale, the south Korean authorities could not remain indifferent to the trend of the times any longer.
With a keen insight into the trends of the prevailing situation the Chairman unfolded a far-reaching plan for bringing about a radical turn in national reunification effort through inter-Korean summit meeting.
So the historic April 8 north-south agreement for inter-Korean summit meeting was announced in April 2000.
Accordingly, the north-south summit was held in Pyongyang in June 2000, the first of its kind in the 55-year history of Korea’s division, and the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration was adopted and made public.
The June 15 North-South Joint Declaration made clear that the Korean nation, the master of Korea’s reunification, should settle the reunification issue independently by a concerted effort of the nation itself. The declaration provided the nation with a grand programme for realizing the cause of national reunification in the new century and opened up in the Korean peninsula a new era of independent reunification, era of By Our Nation Itself. A south Korean radio reported that the north and the south had adopted the joint declaration amid the worldwide attention and thus splendidly adorned the first stage of independent reunification.
With the euphoric hope for national reunification and enthusiasm for reconciliation and unity enveloping the entire Korean territory, the unconverted long-term prisoners, patriotic fighters for reunification who had been imprisoned for dozens of years in south Korea, were repatriated to the DPRK, separated families and their relatives from the north and the south met, and dialogues, contacts and cooperation were promoted in many branches.
Amid the vitality of June 15 era of independent reunification opened up by the Chairman was fully displayed, the Declaration for the Development of North-South Relations, Peace and Prosperity (known as the October 4 Declaration) was adopted at another inter-Korean summit meeting held in Pyongyang in October 2007.
The adoption of the October 4 Declaration provided a broad avenue for improving north-south relations, and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the nation under the banner of By Our Nation Itself and accelerated the advance of the June 15 era of independent reunification.
The “Kim Jong Il syndrome” spread among the Koreans in the north, south and abroad, who respected him as the lodestar of reunification, and anti-US mood and pro-north atmosphere of reunification became more powerful in south Korea as never before.
Chairman Kim Jong Il, who safeguarded the destiny of the country and people and made a turning-point in national reunification movement by dint of his outstanding Songun politics, will live for ever as a peerless patriot enjoying boundless reverence and praise of the Korean nation and the progressive mankind.