On National Reunification


Excerpts from New Year Address of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un for 2019

Comrades,

Last year was a stirring year which witnessed a dramatic change unprecedented in the history of national division spanning over 70 years.

With a determination to usher in an era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity by putting an end to the abnormal state on the Korean peninsula which had suffered a constant war crisis, we took proactive and bold measures to effect a great turn in north-south relations from the outset of last year.

It is unprecedented that three rounds of inter-Korean summit meetings and talks were held in a year amid great expectations and interest of peoples at home and abroad, and this clearly showed that north-south relations entered a completely new stage.

The Panmunjom Declaration, the September Pyongyang Joint Declaration and the north-south agreement in the military field, which were adopted by reflecting the firm resolve and will to usher in an era of peace in which war exists no longer on the Korean peninsula, are of great significance as a virtual nonaggression declaration in which north and south have committed themselves to terminating fratricidal war based on force of arms.

While sportspersons of north and south displayed the wisdom and strength of the nation by jointly entering international competitions, artistes came and went to Pyongyang and Seoul to fire the enthusiasm for national reconciliation and reunification.

We took the significant first step towards common prosperity of the nation by promoting cooperation projects in various fields including railways, road, forestry and public health while resolutely overcoming manifold obstacles and difficulties.

The surprising changes which took place in inter-Korean relations last year convinced all the fellow countrymen that when they join minds and efforts, they can turn the Korean peninsula into the true home of the nation, which is the most peaceful and will prosper forever.

Though it was the initial step, north and south pooled intentions and wisdom to surely reverse inter-Korean relations in the utmost extremes of distrust and confrontation to those of trust and reconciliation and make in a short time eye-opening achievements which were unimaginable in the past. I am very satisfied with that.

In the New Year 2019 we should make greater strides in our efforts to boost inter-Korean relations, achieve peace and prosperity and reunify the country on the basis of the priceless achievements we made last year which was wonderfully adorned with unprecedented events.

All the nationals should hold high the slogan "Let us usher in a heyday of peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula by thoroughly implementing the historic north-south declarations!"

It is our steadfast will to eradicate military hostility between north and south and make the Korean peninsula a durable and lasting peace zone.

North and south, as they agreed, should take practical measures proactively to remove military hostility on the whole of the Korean peninsula, including the ground, airspace and sea, as a follow-up to its ending in the areas of confrontation.

Given that north and south committed themselves to advancing along the road of peace and prosperity, we maintain that the joint military exercises with foreign forces, which constitute the source of aggravating the situation on the Korean peninsula, should no longer be permitted and the introduction of war equipment including strategic assets from outside should completely be suspended.

It is also needed to actively promote multi-party negotiations for replacing the current ceasefire on the Korean peninsula with a peace mechanism in close contact with the signatories to the armistice agreement so as to lay a lasting and substantial peace-keeping foundation.

All the fellow countrymen should unite as one, being conscious that the master of peace on the peninsula is our nation, in order to wage a powerful struggle to check and frustrate all the moves that wreck peace and incite military tension on this land.

Inter-Korean cooperation and exchanges should be expanded and developed in an all-round way so that national reconciliation and unity can be consolidated and all the fellow countrymen can practically benefit from improved north-south relations.

For the present, we are willing to resume the Kaesong Industrial Park and Mt Kumgang tourism without any precondition and in return for nothing, in consideration of the hard conditions of businesspersons of the south side who had advanced into the Kaesong Industrial Park and the desire of southern compatriots who are eager to visit the nation's celebrated mountain.

When north and south join hands firmly and rely on the united strength of the fellow countrymen, no external sanctions and pressure, challenges and trials will be able to hinder us in our efforts to open a broad avenue to national prosperity.

We will never tolerate the interference and intervention of outside forces who stand in the way of national reconciliation, unity and reunification with the design to subordinate inter-Korean relations to their tastes and interests.

North and south should not pass up the favourable atmosphere of today when all the nationals' interest in and aspiration for reunification are growing unprecedentedly, but actively try to find a peaceful reunification plan based on nationwide agreement and direct sincere efforts to this end.

All the fellow countrymen in north, south and abroad should further accelerate in high spirits the nationwide advance for implementing the north-south declarations, and thus glorify this year as a historic one when another radical change is brought about in the development of inter-Korean relations and implementation of the cause of national reunification.

Source: Rodong Sinmun