"KIM IL SUNG and WFTU"
Korea’s Reunification and the WFTU
(Written by Madhavan Atchuthan
Assistant to General Secretary of the WFTU)
As the Korean people are preparing for the celebration of the 90th birthday of great leader President Kim Il Sung, the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) is extremely happy to put on record some aspects of its active cooperation with the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea (GFTUK) for over half a century in mobilizing international solidarity with the struggle of the Korean people for the reunification of the country.
The first high level WFTU delegation to visit Korea was in 1947 and it was led by its General Secretary, Louis Saillant. Since then 28 official delegations of the WFTU have visited the DPRK. The high level delegations of the WFTU were warmly received by the great leader President Kim Il Sung and he paid particular attention to the activities of our international organization in defence of the rights and interests of the working people all over the world.
With the active support and encouragement of the great leader President Kim Il Sung, the WFTU organized the International Conferences of Solidarity with the Korean people and workers on three occasions.
The 14th World Trade Union Congress of the WFTU which was held during this period adopted special resolutions of solidarity with the Korean people.
There were twenty special resolutions on Korea adopted by the Executive Bureau of the WFTU. There were hundreds of appeals and press statements issued by the WFTU on the developments in Korea during this period.
The WFTU hailed the North-South Joint Declaration as an outstanding event in the history of the nation. The declaration showed the vast possibilities to make a break from the past period of confrontation and to work towards reunification in an independence manner.
Following the summit and the joint declaration, there have been activated dialogues, contacts and visits by politicians, journalists, businessmen, artistes, sportsmen and wide sections of people who were interested in promotion of exchange and cooperation in various fields between the north and the south.
It was significant that representatives of south Korean political parties and organizations came to Pyongyang to participate in the 55th anniversary celebrations of the Workers' Party of Korea.
The WFTU warmly welcomed the north-south contacts at the trade union level and the visit of the delegations of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) in October 2000. At that time, a grand conference of workers in the north and south for reunification was held in Pyongyang. A north-south solidarity organization of workers for national reunification was also established.
These epoch-making events bring to our minds the sagacity and leadership of President Kim Il Sung and his total confidence in bringing about the independent and peaceful reunification of the country. As we recall, after the liberation of Korea when the danger of division of the country was impending, he correctly set the goal of reunification as the foremost task of the nation. He upheld the cause of national independence, maintained the policy of one Korea, a policy of reunification, and set for the original ideas on reunification.
He clarified that the division was not due to internal conflicts but was forced by the outside forces, i.e., the United States. The question of Korean reunification was a question of ending the domination and interference by foreign forces, of establishing national sovereignty and of achieving unity of the nation by removing distrust and confrontation between the north and the south.
He put forward the three principles of national reunification whereby the country's reunification should be achieved independently, peacefully and through promotion of national unity.
He also set forth the reunification principle of confederacy based on one nation, one state, two systems and two governments and the formula of establishing of a Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo (DFRK). He put forward the Ten Point Programme for great national unity, with a view to opening up the pathway to the independent and peaceful reunification on the strength of national forces.
The three principles of national reunification, the Ten Point Programme for great national unity and the DFRK formula constitute the three charters and great programme for national reunification which President Kim Il Sung expounded. These principles, based on his rich and valuable experiences of the decades of struggle for national reunification, systematized and integrated the fundamental principles and strategies for reunification into a whole.
The WFTU and the working people the world over congratulate the Korean people on the break through achieved in the reunification process which is a brilliant realization of the reunification ideas of respected President Kim Il Sung and the wise leadership of respected General Kim Jong Il, on the land of Korea.
The WFTU is happy that the international activities are support of Korean people's struggle for reunification contributed to these positive developments. The high points of these solidarity actions started with the international campaign of solidarity to end the Korean war launched by the United States against the DPRK. The World Trade Union Congress held in 1973 called upon the US to withdraw all its troops from Korea.
However, in defiance of the resolution of the 30th session of the UN General Assembly calling for a withdrawal of US troops from south Korea and replacement of the armistice agreement with a peace agreement, the US continued its military provocations against the DPRK on a daily basis.
The International Conference of Trade Unions for Solidarity with the Korean People and Workers for the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea, convened by the WFTU in 1976, supported the five-point policy of President Kim Il Sung and reiterated the call for the withdrawal of all US troops from south Korea. The Conference set up a WFTU Committee of Solidarity with Korean People. The Committee organized a number of solidarity activities including the publication of a bulletin "Solidarity with Korea."
Later, in accordance with the decision of the Conference, the WFTU sent solidarity delegations to the DPRK and organized various campaigns to mobilize international support.
In May 1980, a special session of the WFTU Bureau was held on Solidarity with the Korean People and Workers for the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of the Country. Reaffirming solidarity with the DPRK and its just reunification proposals, the session demanded withdrawal of US troops and rejected the US scheme for "two Koreas."
in Prague in November 1987, the WFTU convened the Meeting of the International Trade Unions for Solidarity with the Korean People and Workers and adopted measures to further intensify the solidarity activities.
At the 14th World Trade Union Congress (New Delhi, India, March 2000), a special resolution was adopted expressing support to the three charters of national reunification consisting of the three principles of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity, the Ten Point Programme for Great National Unity and the proposal for the DFRK. The Congress appealed for a worldwide signature campaign in support of Korean reunification and the withdrawal of US troops from south Korea.
In close cooperation with the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, the WFTU continues to mobilize international solidarity with the struggle of the Korean people for the peaceful reunification of the country, in accordance with the proposals for great national unity propounded by the great leader Kim Il Sung.
(To be continued)