Independence activist Gye Bong-woo and his wife Kim Ya-gan, independence activist Hwang Woon-jeong and his wife Jang Hae-geum,
Belatedly, we have come here to take you back home.
It is the rightful duty of the Government of the Republic of Korea to repatriate the four of them. It is a way to truly complete the nation’s independence. It is an honor for all of the citizens of the Republic of Korea.
Fellow citizens and Korean diaspora in Central Asia,
Today, we come face to face with a chapter in the history of Korea’s independence movement that transcends time and borders.
The lives of independence activists Gye Bong-woo and Hwang Woon-jeong were never for an instant separated from the independence of their homeland. They missed their home country until the last day of their lives. They aspired to independence, prosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula wherever they were – their hometowns in Korea, Russia’s Maritime Province or Kazakhstan.
We can never forget the fact that the sacrifices and devotion of countless independence activists have made Korea what it is today.
For bereaved relatives and our ethnic Korean compatriots, these four elders were a source of self-esteem as well as “a hill to lean on.” They imparted their wisdom to help ethnic Koreans tide over hardships. I understand how hard it was to allow their remains to be repatriated. To ease your worries, we will take care of them with utmost sincerity.
I express my heartfelt consolation and gratitude to the bereaved families. My appreciation also goes to the Government of Kazakhstan for all of its sincere assistance.
The Korean Government's consultations with the bereaved families and the Government of Kazakhstan have finally made it possible to repatriate the remains of independence activists Gye Bong-woo and Hwang Woon-jeong as well as their spouses in the year marking the centennial of the March First Independence Movement and the establishment of the Provisional Republic of Korea Government.
The Korean Government will honor the cause and spirit of independence activists, who departed this life in a distant foreign land, and repay them with the highest respect.
Remembering each and every independence activist is what reminds us of our own pride and self-esteem. It builds strength to usher in the future. My endless respect goes to patriots Gye Bong-woo and Hwang Woon-jeong and their spouses, and I will make sure that they will be remembered in the hearts of the Korean people for eternity.
Independence activist Gye Bong-woo and his wife Kim Ya-gan, independence activist Hwang Woon-jeong and his wife Jang Hae-geum, now the four will be laid to rest among the mountains and streams of their native homeland.
Thank you all.