South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol promised to increase efforts to protect Koreans from hate crimes, placing emphasis on support for overseas Koreans.
On Tuesday, President Yoon met with overseas Koreans in New York City. During the meeting, Yoon presented efforts to protect Koreans and Korean Americans against hate crimes, including a bill to establish a ministry dedicated to overseas Koreans.
“The [South Korean] government will spare no efforts to protect Koreans from hate crimes and discrimination. Also, the government will ask U.S. authorities to pay greater attention to improve the rights, interests and safety of overseas Koreans here,” said Yoon, according to The Korea Times.
The decision to create a new ministry was reportedly a collective effort from both the People Power Party — of which Yoon heads — and the Democratic Party of Korea. The president hopes the bill “will be passed during this plenary session of the National Assembly.”
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Earlier the same day, President Yoon joined the 77th United Nations General Assembly, delivering his keynote speech at the U.N. headquarters. In his speech, Yoon emphasized “threats to humanity” and his dedication to freedom and peace during the “crisis in front of us.” He concluded by pledging his unity with the U.N. and expressing hope for an international coalition.
Yoon also met with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres regarding nuclear weapons and North Korea, issues that South Korea recently addressed at its 2022 Seoul Defense Dialogue. North Korea has continued their nuclear pursuits, passing an “irreversible” law declaring themselves a nuclear weapons state.
President Yoon’s arrival at the assembly follows his attendance at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London. During his time in New York, Yoon will hold various summits, including highly anticipated meetings with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden, in addition to attending the U.N. General Assembly.