An honor guard of South Korea's military carries a portrait of Hong Beom-do, a historic independence fighter during Japan's colonial rule of Korea, and his coffin at Seoul Air Base in Gyeongi Province on Aug. 15, 2021.
President Moon Jae-in on Friday thanked Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for last year's return of the remains of a revered Korean independence fighter as they exchanged letters to mark the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties.
In August last year, the remains of Hong Beom-do, one of the most revered Korean independence fighters, were laid to rest at Daejeon National Cemetery, after being returned from Kazakhstan.
Hong is a historic and highly symbolic figure in Korea's fight against Japan's 1910-45 brutal colonial rule. As top commander of Korea's liberation army, he spearheaded victories in battles against Japanese forces. Especially well known is the Battle of Fengwudong in Manchuria, China, in 1920.
The following year, he moved to the Soviet Far East, seeking refuge from Japan's hunting operation.
He was forced to relocate to Kazakhstan in 1937 under then Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin's policy, along with many other ethnic Koreans. He died at the age of 75 in the Kazakh region of Kyzylorda in 1943, two years before Korea's liberation.
Separately, Moon exchanged letters with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov as South Korea marked the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties with the two Central Asia nations, Park said. (Yonhap)