Echo of June 15


Chairman Kim Jong II meets with President Kim Dae Jung

An eye-opening event took place in Pyongyang, the capital city of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in June 2000. The inter-Korean summit talks were held after 55 years of Korea’s division into the north and the south, and the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration was adopted on settling the reunification issue of the country independently and peacefully.

As soon as it was made public, the joint declaration was warmly welcomed, evoking sympathy of broad sections of international community as well as the entire Korean people. It brought about a dramatic change in accomplishing the cause of reunification of the Korean nation and ushered in a new era beyond imagination in the past on the Korean peninsula.

Dialogues and negotiations were held between the north and the south of Korea in the political, economic, cultural, military and other fields, producing good results in achieving reconciliation and unity, cooperation and exchange. The functions for Korea’s reunification, which had been organized separately in the north and the south, took place in Pyongyang, Seoul, Mt. Kumgang and other places as grand festivals of reunification, participated in by the delegates from the north, south and abroad, amid great expectations and interest of the whole Korean nation.

Demonstrations of Taekwon-Do, the martial arts of the Korean nation, games of athletes from the north and the south, joint performances of artistes from the both sides, joint material exhibitions and seminars of historians, joint photo exhibitions and the like took place in Pyongyang and Seoul. The scene of the joint entry of the sportspersons from the north and the south with the flag bearing the map of Korea at the opening ceremony in the Sydney Olympics in September 2000 touched many people in the world. Such scenes showing the will of the Korean nation to reunify their country could be also witnessed in the 14th Asian Games in September 2002, the Athens Olympics in August 2004 and the 15th Asian Games in December 2006.

Air, land and sea routes which had been blocked for over half a century were relinked and separated families and relatives in the north and the south had meetings of emotional reunion.

Many south Korean people visited Pyongyang to enjoy the mass gymnastics and artistic performance Arirang that is recorded in the Guinness World Records as the greatest in scale in the world, and went sightseeing tours to Mts. Paektu, Kumgang and Myohyang and other scenic spots in the north.

Humanitarian activities between the north and the south were promoted on an extensive scale, and an industrial park jointly run by the north and the south was established in Kaesong along the Military Demarcation Line dividing Korea, inviting over one hundred south Korean enterprises into the area for joint prosperity.

Chairman Kim Jong II and President Roh Moo Hyun sign the declaration for Development of North-south Relations and Peace and Prosperity on October 4, 2007.

In 2007, the October 4 Declaration, the action programme of the June 15 Joint Declaration, was adopted, thus opening up a brighter prospect for the reunification movement of the Korean nation.

Remarkable changes in the north-south relations were brilliant fruition of the June 15 Joint Declaration in which both north and south Korea promised to achieve the country’s reunification and common prosperity of the nation by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation.

The Korean people, therefore, called the era of such a marvellous reality, which had been unimaginable in the past, the “June 15 reunification era.”

However, the June 15 reunification era faced the serious challenge after Lee Myung Bak took power in south Korea.

The Lee Myung Bak group denied in an all-round way the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Declaration as soon as it took office, hindering in every way the promotion of the north-south cooperation, the precious fruit of the June 15 reunification era, and committing ceaselessly military provocations to drive the north-south relations into confrontation. Almost all the exchanges and cooperation between the both sides were cut off, and tourism on Mt. Kumgang, a symbol of the travel between the north and the south, was fully interrupted. The situation on the Korean peninsula was strained to breaking point when a war might start owing to the persistent pursuit of dependence on outside forces and showdown with the fellow countrymen by the Lee Myung Bak clan.

The acute north-south relations faced a more serious crisis by the present Park Geun Hye regime. The new regime, chiming in with the United States that accused the north of its peaceful satellite launch, was in front in the racket of international “sanctions” against the north, thus cutting off completely the work of cooperation of inter-Korean non-governmental organizations, which had been scarcely sustained. It slandered the dignity of north Korea, depicting the Kaesong Industrial Park which was a priceless fruition of June 15 Joint Declaration and was maintained even in grave situation, as the “source of money.” It even planned to make the peaceful industrial zone the hotbed of a war by committing a US commando into the area, for an alleged hostage rescue operation. These moves further drove the KIP to the brink of complete closure.

All the facts prove clearly that when the June 15 Joint Declaration is supported and put into practice the north and the south of Korea can advance towards peace and reunification, whereas the denial and frustration of the declaration will incur only confrontation and war. Everybody has acquired a palpable truth that the positive attitude towards the June 15 Joint Declaration is just reunification and the negative one a war.

The vital power of the June 15 Joint Declaration is eternal.

Now the Korean people are waging a nationwide struggle to hold fast to the June 15 Joint Declaration and bring about again the era of peace, reunification and prosperity. The south Korean people demand the observation of the joint declaration and its thorough implementation, condemning the south Korean rulers who drove the north-south relations into catastrophe.

The international community sincerely hope that the Korean people will achieve the reunification of their nation at an early date under the banner of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and consolidate peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

Chairman Kim Jong II meets with the South Korea medias.

Source: Consulate General of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in Hong Kong

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