July 4 North-South Joint Statement
On August 6, 1971, at a mass rally of Pyongyang citizens welcoming King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, Kim Il Sung made it clear that the DPRK was ready to establish contact at any time with all political parties, including the Democratic Republican Party, and public organizations and individual personages in south Korea.
The south Korean authorities had no other choice but to come to the dialogue table. Thus began preliminary talks between the north and south Korean Red Cross societies in September 1971, which led to high-level inter-Korean political talks in Pyongyang in May the following year.
In his talk to the south Korean delegate to the high-level political talks between the north and south of Korea Kim Il Sung said:
“I believe that our reunification question should on all accounts be settled independently without foreign interference and peacefully on the principle of promoting great national unity.”
Both sides reached an agreement on several matters on the basis of these three principles and published the following statement simultaneously in Pyongyang and Seoul on July 4, 1972, part of which reads:
“First, reunification should be achieved independently without reliance on outside forces and free from their interference;
“Second, reunification should be realized peacefully without recourse to arms against the other party; and
“Third, both sides, as one nation, should promote great national unity, transcending the differences in ideas, ideals and systems.”
The three principles which both sides announced their intention to implement were adopted representing the demand for independence and fundamental interests of all the Korean people and jointly confirmed. The principles have served as a common reunification programme of the Korean nation, comprising a compositional part of the great charter of national reunification.
With the publication of the joint statement as a momentum, the zeal for national reunification mounted rapidly on a nationwide scale, and a new phase opened up in the struggle for national reunification.
In less than a year after the publication of the statement, however, the south Korean chief executive officer issued the so-called “special statement,” thus openly announcing a policy aimed at perpetuating the division of Korea.
Regrettably the joint statement failed to be implemented, but it became the banner of the entire Korean nation in their struggle for national reunification.