Deputy Spokesperson’s Press Briefing (August 12, 2014)

Press Briefing
Deputy Spokesperson Han Hye-jin
Aug. 12, 2014 14:30 KST

Good afternoon. Let me start today’s briefing.

Today, I have one announcement to make.

The Foreign Ministry, together with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Korea NGO Council for Overseas Development Cooperation (KCOC), will conduct a campaign marking the UN World Humanitarian Day at Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul, on August 19. The event will be participated by the Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for Development Cooperation Oh Young-ju, officials from KOICA, the KCOC, 18 local NGOs in the humanitarian sector and heads of international organizations.

The UN, having designated the World Humanitarian Day in 2008, has since commemorated the day. The Republic of Korea, for the first time ever, organized a joint private-public event to mark this day.

Programs arranged for August 19, the day of the event, include a photo exhibition on humanitarianism. In addition, a photo zone and a message board will be set up for the general public to participate.

In addition, starting from today, the Foreign Ministry will hold a story-telling contest on the theme of “what I think is humanitarianism.” Those interested in participating in the contest can apply at the Ministry’s official website and SNS sites.

This event carries significance as one designed to enhance people’s interest in the field of humanitarian assistance, facilitate communication and win support from the public on the matter. In this vein, we look forward to active participation of ROK people in the event.

This is all for my opening statement. I will now take your questions.

[Q&A]

Q: The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office has requested the head of the Seoul Bureau of Sankei Shimbun to present himself to the office. In this regard, at the recent ROK-Japan Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Japanese Minister Kishida expressed concern, citing freedom of the press. What does the ROK government make of this matter?

Q: The ROK government deems that Sankei Shimbun carried an ill-intended article that defamed the reputation of the ROK Head of State by reporting a groundless rumor about her. For this reason, the ROK government considers this a very grave issue. In the course of the discussion on ways to advance the ROK-Japan relations at the recent bilateral Foreign Ministers’ meeting, the ROK side referred to and brought renewed attention of the Japanese side to the Sankei Shimbun report in order to prevent the sentiment of the peoples of two countries from getting hurt.

Q: I cannot judge whether it was a right move to bring up a Japanese press report at the Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Do you see no problem with that?

A: Again, Sankei Shimbun carried an ill-intended article that defamed the reputation of the ROK Head of State by reporting a groundless rumor about her, which is a very grave issue. And, in the course of the discussion on a wide range of ways to develop the ROK-Japan relations at the recent bilateral Foreign Ministers’ meeting, the ROK side brought up this issue — which I believe was a natural thing to do — as it had deeply hurt the sentiment of the ROK people.

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