2003 World Conference against A & H Bombs-Hiroshima
August 6, 2003

Song Im Bok
Korean Atomic Bomb Casualty Association

My name is Song Im Bok. I am attending the World Conference on behalf of the president of the Korean Atomic Bomb Casualty Association. This is my first time to participate in the World Conference, and I'm very moved by this gathering.

I am also a Hibakusha. I was 13 years old at the time of the atomic bombing. I was in Fukushima-cho in Hiroshima City at the time. Because I returned to South Korea later, I was denied the compensation benefits which were given to Hibakusha in Japan. So we sued the Japanese government, and now at long last we have got the benefits.

Korean Hibakusha, who are aging, have difficulty coming to Japan. We hope that they can receive the benefits even without having to come to Japan to apply.

On August 6, 1945, my father and three cousins were killed in the present Peace Memorial Park site. I remember that it was a military training ground at the time. We could not find their bodies. I think they are buried in the Peace Memorial Park. I think that our feelings can only be understood by Hibakusha.

The question now is why human beings cannot live in peace and friendship. War is the source of all kinds of suffering as well as illnesses and poverty.

I want to call on the world to work for a peaceful century to ensure that our children can live in peace and happiness and with hope.