Yoon hosts luncheon meeting with Korean atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima on Chuseok
President Yoon Suk Yeol hosted a luncheon meeting Friday with a group of Korean victims of the 1945 atomic bombing in Hiroshima on the occasion of the Chuseok holiday.
The meeting, held at Cheong Wa Dae's Yeongbin-gwan guesthouse, with 42 atomic bombing victims and family members from Japan and 43 others from South Korea came about four months following his meeting with Korean survivors of the bombing during his visit to Hiroshima in May for a Group of Seven summit.
The Korean Peninsula was liberated from Japan's colonial rule just after the bombing.
"It took 78 years for the government to host you. I would like to say once again I am sorry for being too late," Yoon said in his welcome speech.
"I am well aware that the long-running difficulties in the South Korea-Japan relationship have made your lives difficult," the president said. "The government will never again turn a blind eye to your pain."
He also vowed his utmost efforts to advance the South Korea-Japan relationship into a future-oriented one and take care of Koreans residing in Japan.
"While cooperating with Japan, the closest neighbor with whom we share the universal values of freedom, human rights and rule of law, our government will proceed to advance the peace and prosperity in the region and the world," the president said.
Around 50,000 Koreans fell victim to the atomic bombing, including 30,000 killed, after many were brought to Japan to work as forced laborers during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, according to the Korea Atomic Bombs Victim Association. (Yonhap)