DPRK Commemorates the 4 July 1972 Joint Statement of North and South

[CanKor has received an email signed by four DPRK organizations commemorating the first major North-South rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula. Of interest is the fact that the 1972 Joint Statement of North and South was issued during the reign of South Korea’s President Park Chung Hee, father of the current South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Ironically, only 4 years prior to this first North-South rapprochement, a North Korean death squad had attempted to assassinate Pres. Park Chung Hee. Perhaps irony is an underrated factor in understanding Korean peninsular politics. As usual, we post the following message as we received it. –CanKor]

Monument to the Three Charters for National Reunification, Pyongyang

Monument to the Three Charters for National Reunification, Pyongyang

Dear friends

41 years have passed since the historic July 4 Joint Statement clarifying the three principles of Korea’s reunification was made public.

The announcement of the statement was the brilliant fruition brought about thanks to the idea and line of the great President Kim Il Sung on the national reunification, his distinguished and experienced leadership.

President Kim Il Sung regarded the national reunification as the supreme task of the nation and led the cause of the national reunification to victory with his great idea and leadership from the first day after Korea was divided into the north and south.

In August, 1971, the President, seeing through the unanimous desire of the whole nation and the urgent requirement of the development of the reunification movement, proposed a proposal for wide-ranging negotiation clarifying that the north was willing to contact all political parties including “Democratic Republican Party”, the then ruling party of south Korea, social organizations and individuals at any time.

According to the broad-minded proposal set forth by him, a high-level political meeting between the north and south was held in Pyongyang, in May 1972, the first of its kind since its division into the north and south. Read the rest of this entry »

15th anniversary of formulating the Three Charters for National Reunification

[CanKor has received the following letter from four Pyongyang-based organizations: the Korean Committee for Solidarity with the World People, the Korean Democratic Lawyers Association, the Korean Committee for Afro-Asian Solidarity, and the Korean National Peace Committee. As usual, we offer this text without commentary. –CanKor]

Dear friends,

Monument to the Three Charters for National Reunification, Pyongyang

Warm greetings!

As you know well, 67 years have elapsed since the Korean people have become separated into the north and the south after the 2nd world war. The Korean people have strived for the independent and peaceful reunification of the country without any interference from outside forces during the past 67 years. President Kim Il Sung, the great leader of the Korean nation and the lodestar of the reunification of the country, devoted his whole life for the reunification of Korea to the last day of his life from the beginning of the liberation of the country.

To look back, President Kim Il Sung’s whole life can be said to have been a life of struggle devoted to reunifying his country, expect the period of the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle for national liberation. From the separation of the country, President Kim Il Sung has laid down many reunification proposals and wisely led the Korean nation for the reunification of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

40th anniversary of the release of the July 4th Joint Declaration

[Another historic event celebrated (or not) by Korea this year is the 40th anniversary of the 4 July 1972 North-South Joint Statement that declared a “mutual desire for the early peaceful reunification of Korea”. They reached “full agreement” on the three principles for achieving reunification, as follows: “1. Unification shall be achieved independently, without depending on foreign powers and without foreign interference; 2. Unification shall be achieved through peaceful means, without resorting to the use of force against each other; 3. A great national unity shall be sought first, transcending differences in ideas, ideologies, and systems.” In addition, the two sides agreed “not to slander or defame each other, not to undertake military provocations, whether on a large or small scale, and to take positive measures to prevent inadvertent military incidents.” Of course, those were the days of Park Chung Hee in South Korea (1963-1979), and implementation of the statement remained the preserve of two governments that were far less than democratic. One wonders whether the recent emphasis in the DPRK on this 40th anniversary has anything to do with the fact that Park Chung Hee’s daughter, Park Geun-hye, has become such a prominent contender for ROK’s presidential elections in December this year? While South Korea’s JoongAng Daily reveals that “North tried using 1972 communique to oust Park regime“, a letter to CanKor by the (North) Korean Committee of Solidarity with the World People takes the following view of the same history. –CanKor] Read the rest of this entry »

The Wonderful World of North Korea’s YouTube Channel by Caleb McFadden

[Caleb McFadden is a history student at Middle Tennessee State University. He wrote the following article about North Korea’s YouTube channel for EA World View, a blog “dedicated to engaging with the notion of ‘America’ through a consideration of US foreign policy and politics.” It was published under the title North Korea Video Feature: The Wonderful World of the Regime’s YouTube Channel (McFadden) on 27 May 2012. –CanKor]

On 14 July 2010, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with the username “uriminzokkiri”, created its official YouTube channel.

Since that day, 3000 videos have been posted, and the channel has more than 3000 subscribers and more than 2 million views of its footage. In comparison, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has three times the population of North Korea, has less than 2000 subscribers and about 2.5 million visits. Read the rest of this entry »

North Korean church leader Kang Yong Sop dies

New Year's greeting by Kang Yong Sop

The Rev. Kang Yong Sop, chair of the Central Committee of the Korean Christian Federation (KCF), passed away in Pyongyang on 21 January 2012, at the age of 80. I have known  Kang for more than 20 years. On the same day his death was announced, I received a New Year’s greeting card bearing his signature.

Rev. Kang Yong Sop at a WCC Consultation in Hong Kong 2009. (Photo WCC)

Rev. Kang was the son of another Protestant pastor, with family links to Kim Il Sung. Prior to his ordination, Kang served as North Korean ambassador to Romania. He was a member of the Supreme People’s Assembly and on occasion chaired sessions of the SPA. As KCF Chairperson, Kang led numerous delegations to foreign countries, including Canada on at least two occasions. He forged links with overseas churches and the ecumenical movement, attending three Assemblies of the World Council of Churches, as well as participating in numerous church-related events where both North and South Koreans were in attendance.

Under his leadership the KCF became active in humanitarian projects, building noodle and bread factories and distributing food, clothing and other items donated by churches abroad. Two Protestant church buildings exist in Pyongyang, as well as the KCF headquarters and a theological school for training deacons and pastors. Bongsu Church, the larger of the two, has recently been rebuilt, financed by South Korean churches. Read the rest of this entry »

North Korean Message on Reunification

[CanKor received the following message by email from Pyongyang. It was sent from a familiar official email address, but was not signed by any particular DPRK organization. We reproduce it here as we received it on 3 January 2012. –CanKor.]

Dear friends,

As you have heard, the Korean people have undergone the great lose of nation by the sudden demise of the great leader Kim Jong Il on the 17th of December in 2010.

The great leader Kim Jong Il has made the great contribution for the independent and peaceful reunification of Korea and to provide the peace and security of the Korean peninsula in his life time.

Even though the great leader Kim Jong Il passed away so suddenly, the Korean people, holding high the wise leadership of respected and beloved comrade Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of our party and people and the supreme commander of KPA, will continue their struggle for the construction of the prosperous and powerful country and the realization of the reunification of Korea which was the desire of the great leader Kim Jong Il in his life period.

This year is the significant year of when the president Kim Il Sung has announced the 3 great principle of national reunification in 40 years ago, the 15th establishment anniversary of the 3 great charter for the national reunification by leader Kim Jong Il, and the 5th anniversary year of the publication of the historic October 4 Joint Declaration between the north and south. Read the rest of this entry »

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