Your Excellency, Ambassador Yeondoo Jeong,
Members of Parliament,
Professor Takamitsu Muraoka,
Mr Lee Kee Hang and Madam Song Chang-ju,
It is my great honour as Mayor of The Hague to be here today at the 114th commemoration of the death of the Korean jurist and diplomat Yi Jun, hero of the Korean people.
In 1907 Yi Jun and two fellow countrymen were sent by Emperor Kho-Dzjong as delegates to the Second Peace Conference in The Hague to plead the case for a free and independent Korea. Far from home, he died here in his hotel room on Wagenstraat.
Today we also commemorate 76 years’ liberation from Japanese rule in Korea and celebrate the fact that you, Lee Kee-hang, founded the Yi Jun Peace Museum 25 years ago. A small museum dedicated to the memory of Yi Jun. A place where the pursuit of peace is cherished.
I have had the pleasure of meeting you, Lee Kee Hang and your wife, Song Chang-ju, before. A delightful meeting during which I expressed how much I appreciate this special museum. An initiative that is closely connected with The Hague as city of peace and justice.
Yi Jun’s mission did not bring justice for the Korean people as an independent nation, but demonstrates the desire for peace based on international law. Something that more than two hundred institutions, organisations and private initiatives in The Hague still strive for on a daily basis. Your museum stands among them as a precious gem.
May you celebrate many more anniversaries.
Thank you very much.