FM vows to work closely with U.S. to protect Koreans after Atlanta shootings

SEOUL-- Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong on Wednesday stressed efforts to protect the safety of South Koreans living in the United States in the wake of recent deadly shootings in Atlanta, vowing close cooperation with Washington on the matter.

He made the remarks during a regular meeting with senior officials at the foreign ministry, his office said, as four women of Korean descent were among those killed in the U.S. city last week amid speculation that the killings could be a hate crime against Asians.

"A rise in hate crimes against the Asian community is a matter of safety for our fellow Koreans in the United States," the ministry quoted Chung as saying. "Our government is thus paying keen attention and will work closely with related U.S. government institutions at each level so as to prevent damage and ensure their safety,"

Expressing deep concerns over the recent increase in such crimes and extending condolences to the affected communities in the U.S., Chung also said that the government will continue to support U.S. efforts to deal sternly with hatred and violence, according to the ministry.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also expressed his condolences over the deaths of the women in the shootings when he visited Seoul last week for talks with Chung.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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