North Korea called President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima on Friday “childish,” while other Asian nations sought to remind the world that Japanese expansionism was a root cause of the war the bombing of Hiroshima helped end.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency, which regularly attacks Obama and the United States, called the trip “a childish political calculation.”
“Even if Obama visits the damaged city, he cannot hide his identity as a nuclear war fanatic and nuclear weapons proliferator,” the North Korean news agency said, adding that, “Obama is seized with the wild ambition to dominate the world by dint of the U.S. nuclear edge.”
Obama’s trip also brought out long-simmering outrage in China. The city of Nanjing, China’s capital before World War II, was the site of a massacre China says killed 300,000 people and Allied estimates claim killed 142,000 people. Some Japanese historians insist the incident never happened at all.
“It is worth focusing on Hiroshima, but it’s even more important that we should not forget Nanjing,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The government attacked Japan in the state-run China Daily newspaper.
The “atomic bombings of Japan were of its own making,” read an editorial in Thursday’s edition, which said that through focusing on Hiroshima, Japan was “trying to portray Japan as the victim of World War II rather than one of its major perpetrators.”
Koreans were also irked by Obama. Many Koreans, used as slaves by Japan during the war, were killed in the atomic bombings.
“The world thinks Japan is the atomic bomb victim. That is wrong,” said Shim Jin-Tae, 73, a Korean who survived the bombing of Hiroshima during World War II and who was protesting with the Association of Korean Atomic Bomb Victims outside the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. “Japan is the country that began the war. Koreans are the victims of the atomic bomb. Japan, as a country that started the war, has never apologized.”
h/t: The Hill