The Guardian June 21, 2000

Giant step towards reunification

The historic meeting between the leaders of north and south Korea marks 
a giant step towards the reunification of the two Koreas that are a product 
of the Cold War. Korea has been unnaturally divided for 55 years. The 
meeting was held in Pyongyang, the capital city of the Democratic Peoples 
Republic of Korea from June 13-15. The two leaders signed a North-South 
Joint Declaration. Its main points are:

1. The north and the south agreed to solve the question of the country's 
reunification independently by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation 
responsible for it.

2. The north and the south, recognising that a proposal for federation of 
lower stage advanced by the north side and a proposal for confederation put 
forth by the south side for the reunification of the country have elements 
in common, agreed to work for the reunification in this direction in the 

3. The north and south agreed to settle humanitarian issues, including 
exchange of visiting groups of separated families and relatives and the 
issue of unconverted long-term prisoners, as early as possible on the 
occasion of August 15 this year.

4. The north and south agreed to promote the balanced development of the 
national economy through economic cooperation and build mutual confidence 
by activating cooperation and exchanges in all fields, social, cultural, 
sports, public health, environmental and so on.

5. The sides agreed to hold dialogues between the authorities as soon as 
possible to implement the above-mentioned agreed points in the near future.

The Declaration was signed by Kim Jong Il, Chairman of the National Defence 
Commission of the DPRK and Kim Dae Jung, President of the Republic of 

In a speech at a reception to the North Korean leader, Kim Dae Jung said 
that the Korean nation has undergone many ordeals in history and it is high 
time the Korean nation stopped weeping. He said he fully agreed with the 
statement made by Chairman Kim Jong Il during his recent visit to China 
that the issue of the Korean peninsula should be solved by the Korean 
people themselves. I am also sure that the destiny of our nation can be 
carved out by the Korean nation itself. He was confident that the summit 
talks were the starting point for peace and reunification, the cherished 
desire of the 70 million Koreans.

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