(Written by Kim Yang Gon, reproduced from UK Korean Embassy Bulletin of 27 August 2015, with thanks)
Pyongyang, August 27 (KCNA) — Kim Yang Gon, member of the Political Bureau and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, gave the following answers to questions raised by KCNA Thursday as regards the recent north-south high-level urgent contact:
As was already reported, the north and the south held a high-level urgent contact at Panmunjom from August 22 to 24 and had a wide-ranging discussion on various issues of putting under control the recently created grave situation and improving the north-south relations and made public a joint press release on the basis of its results.
The joint press release reflected the will and stand of both sides to prevent armed conflicts, de-escalate tensions and promote the development of the bilateral relations.
It was very fortunate that the recent contact helped defuse the danger of the touch-and-go situation that may plunge not only the Korean peninsula but the whole of Northeast Asia into the whirlpool of an upheaval and offered an opportunity of a dramatic turn in achieving peace, stability, reconciliation and cooperation between the north and the south.
We are pleased over the fact that the north and the south sat face to face, sympathized with the danger of the situation and had an exhaustive discussion to reach an agreement on issues of common concern, thus opening up an epochal phase for turning misfortune into blessings in the north-south relations.
The public at home and abroad are unanimously welcoming the north and the south for preventing the situation from plunging into an unpredictable conflict and joining hands for reconciliation.
The north and the south should value the spirit of the agreement reached at the contact and not just feel complacent at tiding over the extreme crisis but advance the north-south relations in the constructive direction for reunification.
It is my view that the contact would not have considerable meaning if it just ends up as a stop-gap measure.
Both sides should wipe out mistrust and confrontation and opt for mending the bilateral relations from a bold stand through dialogue and negotiations.
As was agreed in the joint press release, the north and the south should resolve issues of common concern through dialogue and negotiations between the authorities and reenergize broad exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
To this end, it is of priority importance to keep afloat and develop the present trend of situation in which the north and the south put on the track of detente with much effort.
The north and the south should never allow such happening which makes them get inveigled in a disturbing situation for uncertain reasons, leading the situation to an extreme phase.
In fact, the north and the south should not have been embroiled in such abnormal case as the recent one.
Both sides should learn a lesson from the recent case, should not lose reason and temper when complicated problems arise in the inter-Korean relations but make efforts to prevent the recurrence of such incident.
The north and the south should no longer be bound to the past but care about the future of the nation first and look far into the future and join hands for repairing the relations and achieving reunification.
There can be forces unwilling for the rapid development of the north-south relations. So, we should be vigilant against them.
From this viewpoint, the north and the south should pay particular attention to preventing any unexpected incident from happening and firmly maintain the idea of By Our Nation Itself.
Consistent is the stand of the DPRK to bring about a great change and surge in the north-south relations and open up a wide avenue to independent reunification this significant year of the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation.
We will make positive efforts to improve the north-south relations as desired by all the Koreans in the spirit agreed upon at the recent north-south high-level urgent contact.