Atomic-bomb survivors in S.Korea welcome Kishida, Yoon joint visit to monument

A group of people in South Korea who survived the atomic bombing while in Japan has welcomed the planned joint visit by the Japanese and South Korean leaders to a monument dedicated to Korean victims of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima.

Fourteen people, including members of Korea Atomic Bomb Victims Association, held a news conference in Hiroshima on Thursday. The South Korean group consists of people who were exposed to the atomic bombing in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

It is said that in the bombing of Hiroshima, tens of thousands of people from the Korean Peninsula may have died. But the actual figure has not been determined.

The Korean Red Cross says that among those hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivors, who returned to South Korea after the war, about 1,800 are registered as hibakusha by Japanese authorities, living in Hapcheon in the country's south and other areas.

At the news conference, the chairman of the association, Jeong Won-sul, said their suffering from the wounds and aftereffects of the atomic bombing is huge, their livelihood faces difficulties, and they cannot forget the experience.

He referred to the planned visit to the monument by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. Yoon will arrive in Hiroshima on Friday.

Jeong said he is deeply moved that the two leaders will visit the monument together 78 years after the bombing.

Others at the news conference said support by the South Korean government has been insufficient. Some called on the government to swiftly construct a memorial facility.