June 15 era replete with cheers of jubilation

By Uriminzokkiri

Today all the Koreans look back upon the reunification era in which the three-thousand-ri land of Korea seethed with the feelings of boundless joy and excitement at the adoption of the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration.

In retrospect, the north-south summit meeting in Pyongyang, the first of its kind on the Korean peninsula, where distrust and conflict among fellow countrymen persisted for over half a century, and the adoption of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration were a landmark event to be etched in golden letters in the history of the Korean nation's reunification movement.

Credit for this must go to Chairman Kim Jong Il.

Proceeding from his will to hand down a reunified country to the fellow countrymen by implementing President Kim Il Sung's lifetime instructions on national reunification, he made ceaseless, painstaking efforts to this end.

In early Juche 89 (2000) he climbed Mt Paektu, the sacred mountain of the Korean nation, where he conceived a plan to hold a north-south summit to bring about a turning point in carrying out the cause of national reunification. As a result, the summit was held in Pyongyang for the first time in the history of national division.

He warmly received President Kim Dae Jung of south Korea and his entourage at Pyongyang Airport and made sure that Pyongyang citizens gave a cordial welcome to them along the tens-of-km-long route into the capital city of Pyongyang. He called on Kim Dae Jung at his guesthouse in consideration of his advanced age and ensured that an armchair was provided for his health and that the south Korean president seated at the same table together with his wife at the banquet in honour of them. During their sojourn in Pyongyang the south Korean guests and the compatriots in south Korea were deeply impressed by Kim Jong Il's broad magnanimity and warm fraternal feelings.

The Pyongyang summit was crowned by Kim Jong Il's idea of national independence, unexcelled wisdom and bold decision. It resulted in the adoption of the historic joint declaration with the ideal of By Our Nation Itself at its core.

Kim Jong Il wrought such eye-opening achievements, which could not have been made in 55 years of national division, in a matter of 55 hours during the summit, thus setting up a historic milestone for independent reunification and ushering in a new era of pan-national reunification movement in Korea.

Many amazing changes were witnessed in the efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and promote the national reunification movement in the June 15 reunification era.

Under the ideal of By Our Nation Itself inter-Korean dialogues and contacts were made in various sectors including the minister-level talks. Joint national reunification events sponsored by the governments and nongovernmental organizations took place with splendour on such anniversaries as June 15 and August 15 (Korea's liberation day), and grand meetings for reunification attended by organizations of all strata and other reunification-oriented events were held in different parts of Korea, including Pyongyang, Seoul, Mt Kumgang and Jeju Island.

With brisk exchange and cooperation in the fields of the economy, culture and sports becoming diversified, the Kaesong Industrial Park was built to promote economic cooperation, and Mt Kumgang tourism progressed apace. Sportspersons from the north and south of Korea jointly entered the venues for international games, flying the One Korea flag, and the girl boosters from the north raised a strong wind of cheering and reunification in the stadiums in Pusan and Taegu of south Korea.

Indeed, it was a thrilling reality which could never be imagined before the June 15 era.

All the Koreans keenly realized the fact that June 15 was reconciliation, peace and reunification of the nation as they looked back with pride upon that meaningful era brought about thanks to the ennobling love of Kim Jong Il for the nation and his firm will to reunify the country.

All the Korean compatriots in the north, in the south and abroad should launch a dynamic drive to achieve peace and prosperity and independent reunification of the Korean peninsula, under the unfurled banner of the historic Panmunjom Declaration and the September Pyongyang Joint Declaration provided by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un through his three rounds of inter-Korean summit meetings.

(Uriminzokkiri - June 16, 2019)
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