2015 World Conference against A & H Bombs
Korean Atomic Bomb Casualty Association
Republic of Korea
I bring greetings to the organizers of the World
Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, members of international and
social organizations, who have come all the way to attend this event. I
appreciate your attendance. I am happy to see you.
I am Kang Hojung. I am here on behalf of the
2,600 Koreans who were exposed to A-bomb radiation in Japan.
This is my first participation in the World
At this gathering commemorating the 70th
anniversary of the atomic bombings, I vividly recall awful
images and stories that I heard from my parents. My uncle died three days after
the bombing due to after-effects.
uncle, who loved me so much, died without leaving even a
word for me. My family was absorbed
grief. I remember it was a rainy summer day.
I could not understand at all what was going on but I still clearly
remember just crying while sitting by the window.
The atomic bomb was detonated in August 1945,
and my family returned to Korea
following year in 1946. All what we had with us then were the aftereffect
of the bomb and hunger. What hurt us
more than anything was the label of Hibakusha and sense
of alienation from society. This kept us from seeking help. To be honest, we
were alone without any support.
A lot of Hibakusha
their lives those days without decent medical
support since there were not many
hospitals or medical institutions. Quite a lot of people are still suffering
from the aftereffect of the atomic bombing even today. Furthermore, there are many among
second generation Hibakusha who are suffering from unknown
diseases that they could only imagine as
the result of the atomic bombing, as if they had inherited the suffering from
is necessary that we look into the hereditary nature of
radiation diseases and to seek solution .
Otherwise it will
cause bigger issues, not only to affect Hibakusha but
also the second generation s. It is a matter of fundamental rights and human rights of
the Hibakusha and
the second generation , which has to be addressed promptly by the
governments of the Republic of Korea and Japan, as the parties in charge of
compensation for the damage caused by the A-bombing ,
while it is also an issue of recovering the right to live for the victims.
bomb survivors, are
than 70. We live with all sorts of disease, poverty,
and agony. Even in this moment,
survivors are dying.
At the time of the bombing, 70,000 Korean
residents were exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing. More than 40,000 were killed, and more than
23,000 out of survived
went back to their country.
Most of them died a painful death in poverty and agony, and now, only 2,600 survived.
However, A-bomb survivors in Korea are
discriminated against by Japan, the country responsible for the war. They are
also unable to receive the necessary support from Korean
government. Countries with nuclear
energy say they use it for peaceful
but that is not true.
They still are
trying to produce nuclear weapons if they have any
chance. The northern half of the Korean Peninsula possess nuclear
threat s to us. We
have actually experienced atomic bomb. We believe a tragedy like this must not be
repeated. Nuclear weapons that cause
such a dreadful misfortune and damage must be abolished by all means. Let us unite to get rid of nuclear weapons.
We pray for the victims of atomic bomb.
A-bomb survivors, friends from the organizing
committee of the World Conference against A & H Bombs, and delegates of
international organizations and NGOs who came all the way to participate in
this conference, I wish you all the best and a successful world conference.
And let us vow to make efforts to pass
nuclear free, peaceful world on to our children and grandchildren.