Om March 27, 1989 President Kim Il Sung met Rev. Mun Ik Hwan, the then advisor to the Association for National Democratic Movement (Jonminryon), on a visit to Pyongyang. The President warmly welcomed the minister, saying that his visit was a very brave act and that he was very glad to meet him. After having a photo taken together, the President led him to a seat close to his own, asking to have a heart-to-heart talk with him. His kindness made the minister speak his mind to him from the beginning as if he had met his own parent who had long been away. Saying that he was a man who had lived with the belief that reunification of the nation would lead to its resuscitation, regardless of the question of whether Jesus Christ returned to life 2 000 years before, the minister frankly told the President that he was there for the good of national reunification and that he was very glad that the day after his arrival there was Easter Day. Then he expressed his boundless reverence for the President, saying that before liberation he had heard a lot of legendary tales about the antiJapanese revolutionary struggle led by the President.

Expressing his gratitude, the President warm-heartedly asked Mun how his mother was. At his replay that she would celebrate her 100th birthday in 1995, the President said they should achieve national reunification before the anniversary.

Barely controlling his excitement, Mun told the President that it was established as the south’s principle of public movement that the anti-fascist struggle for democracy, the struggle for national independence against foreign forces and the struggle for democratic reunification should be integrated, and that it was the path of the movement and the very programme of Jonminryon. The President said it was 100 per cent the same with his opinion and warmly held the minister’s hand. He then explained that anti-fascist, anti-dictatorship for democracy, independence against foreign forces and aggression, and peaceful reunification are one and said that they all had the same idea.

That day the President gave a luncheon in honour of the minister and his suite.

By Our Nation Itself

On June 14, 2000 there was a second round of talks between Chairman Kim Jong Il and President Kim Dae Jung of south Korea in Pyongyang. The talks had been planned to be held in a place where Chairman Kim Jong Il stayed, so Kim Dae Jung and his suite were hastily preparing to go to the place from early morning. Then, unexpectedly, they were told that the Chairman was coming to the guest house where they were staying to have the second talks with them there like on the previous day. They were so grateful of it only to be at a loss what to do.

After a while the Chairman arrived there. Kim Dae Jung walked up to him, expressing thanks for his trouble to come there in a tone of excitement. With a warm smile, the Chairman said it was all right. And worrying about the President’s health, he said it was proper for a younger man to call on his senior, and asked if he had had a good night. Kim Dae Jung expressed sincere thanks for the generous manner whereby the Chairman showed warmhearted concern as if they were having a discussion of family affairs.

The Chairman’s principled stand, great magnanimity and warm love for the country and nation enabled the talks to go on smoothly from the beginning. When the matter of the core of the document of the North-South Joint Declaration arose as an important problem, Kim Dae Jung proposed to draw up a document consisting of detailed plans including installation of a military telephone hotline and establishment of a joint economic committee. Then, clearly explaining that there were a lot of good documents the north and the south had agreed on before and that the problem was that they were not properly implemented, the Chairman said that the new document to be published at the threshold of the 2000s should become the one which would make the 70 million fellow countrymen hopeful and optimistic about reunification, and suggested that they should state in the document that they would reunify the nation independently by the concerted efforts of the nation in the 2000s with “By our nation itself” as the common ideal, in the meaning that legacies of the old times should be liquidated.

His words were so plain, meaningful and acceptable to anyone that Kim Dae Jung absolutely agreed to his proposal. This is how the ideal of “By our nation itself,” the kernel of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration, was adopted.

Article by An Chang Hui