Mayor Park Won-soon of Seoul had a meeting with London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, at San Francisco City Hall on January 9 (Thurs.), 2020 (local time).
While the Korean movie Parasite is becoming increasingly popular among American audiences these days, the two mayors shared opinions on international issues, including polarization and the unfair and unjust society.
As the first black female mayor of San Francisco, London Breed has been living in public housing since her childhood. She has been strongly interested in the supply of public housing, the homeless issue, jobs and local economies, and the realization of a fair society.
Mayor Park introduced the policies of Seoul that aim at the “guarantee of a fair starting line for youth,” such as Youth Allowance, the support of monthly rental for youth, and the expansion of housing support for newlywed couples.
Before the meeting, at 1:40 p.m. (local time), Mayor Park Won-soon visited the monument to the victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery at St. Mary’s Park in downtown San Francisco to lay bouquets of flowers. San Francisco is the first metropolis in the U.S. where a monument to pay tribute to the “Comfort Women” has been established through privately-led fundraising.
Together with the mayor were those from the “Comfort Women” Justice Coalition (CWJC), a heterogeneous association in the U.S. that played the vital role in leading the establishment of the monument, personnel from Jin Duck & Kyung Sik Kim Foundation, and Korean residents of San Francisco.
They are the leaders who also led the building of the monument to “Comfort Women” that was erected on Namsan Mountain, Seoul, last August. It was the Korean residents living in San Francisco who played a major role in establishing the monument in San Francisco that had committed themselves to manufacturing a monument and donating it to Seoul. Both monuments are works of Steven Whyte, an American sculptor, embodying the “participation and communication” and “the joining of the past and the present” to transcend nationalities and generations.
After laying flowers, Mayor Park delivered a speech to express his gratitude for the donation of the monument of “Comfort Women” in Seoul and emphasized that it is needed to realize justice and peace together through solidarity centering around the establishment of the monument.
He also visited the Presidio of San Francisco. The site is a representative example of a military facility that was reborn into a park, sharing a similar historical background with Yongsan Park in Seoul.
Mayor Park laid flowers at the “monument to the soldiers who participated in the Korean War” and commemorated their supreme sacrifice.