President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida honors the Korean atomic bomb victims at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Japan, on May 21. [Photo by Yonhap]
President Yoon Suk Yeol honored the Korean atomic bomb victims at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Sunday, as he paid a visit the cenotaph for Korean victims there alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Yoon paid silent tribute alongside the Japanese prime minister, along with 10 atomic bomb survivors from the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, including a Korean victim and the former representative of the group of Korean victims from the bombing Park Nam-joo. The visit to the monument by the Korean and Japanese leaders was first proposed by Kishida during the Korea-Japan summit that took place in Seoul earlier this month.
Following a declaration of their willingness to forge a partnership for peace and prosperity in the future, Yoon joined the G7 leaders on their visits to the Peace Memorial Museum and sat down with Kishida.
“Both Korean and Japanese leaders here together for the first time will be remembered not only as a commemoration of the Korean victims of the atomic bombing, but also as efforts from the Japanese prime minister for a peaceful future,” said Yoon, during his opening remarks at the meeting. He also said that the heartfelt sympathy for the victims of forced labor that Kishida had shown during his visit to Seoul earlier this month had resonated with the Korean people. Kishida said that he believed it was “very important for the peace of Japan and Korea, and further for peace and prosperity around the world.”
During the summit, the two leaders shared their agreed views on closer ties between Korea, Japan and the U.S. amid escalating nuclear and missile threats from North Korea. The two East Asian leaders also reaffirmed their willingness to continue ad hoc summits between the nations as part of moves to restore the bilateral diplomatic relationship, following Yoon’s visit to Tokyo in March and Kishida’s visit to Seoul in early May.
The two leaders confirmed progresses on other issues, including the resumption of Seoul-Hiroshima and other Korea-Japan direct flights, and the operation of the recently agreed 2 billion won ($207 million) in Korea-Japan funds for the future partnership and cooperation on supply chains and advanced technologies.
Commenting that the Korea-Japan relationship is facing a “transition,” not only in terms of diplomacy and security but also in terms of other areas across all sectors, including the economy, industry, science, technology, culture and human exchanges, the two leaders agreed to “closely cooperate at all levels to create concrete results,” said Yoon’s spokesperson.
By Park Yun-gyun and Chang Iou-chung
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