North Korea Slams Japan: Memorial Removal Decried as ‘Atrocity Against Humanity’
North Korea has condemned the forced removal of the Korean workers’ memorial in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, and called for its restoration.
The North Korean Central News Agency criticized in a commentary on the 6th, “The Gunma Prefecture authorities have committed a fascist act of forcibly removing the memorial,” adding, “(This is) an intolerable inhumane act of cutting into the wounds of the direct victims of forced mobilization and their descendants again.”
The agency raised its voice, saying, “(The removal) is a despicable act of denying the past crimes of the Japanese Empire, which inflicted great pain and misfortune on many countries and its people in Asia, including our country, and beautifying its colonial rule.”
It continued by saying, “Mourning the victims, compensating for the crime, and preventing the recurrence of the past misfortune is the legal duty and rightful principle of the perpetrator authorities.” It urged that “The Gunma Prefecture authorities should ponder the consequences that the current situation, which has exploded the unbearable anger of both domestic and foreign, will lead to and must immediately restore the memorial.”
The Korean workers’ memorial in Gunma Prefecture was installed in 2004 by a Japanese civic group to understand Korea and Japan’s history and promote friendship between the two sides. At its establishment, the civic group promised not to hold political rallies in front of the monument.
However, the Gunma Prefecture authorities refused to renew the installation permission in 2014, taking issue with a participant mentioning ‘forced mobilization’ at the memorial service held in front of the memorial in 2012, and the Supreme Court of Japan finalized a ruling in 2022 that the local government’s disposition is legal.
Gunma Prefecture asked the civic group to remove the Korean workers’ memorial. Still, there was no response, so it started an administrative enforcement operation to remove the monument on the 29th of last month and completed the removal on the 31st of the same month.