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PM, Chinese official to cooperate on memorial hall of Korean independence hero

All Headlines 18:10 April 11, 2016

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and a top Chinese official from Heilongjiang Province agreed Monday to work closely together on a memorial hall in China honoring a prominent Korean independence fighter.

The hall for Ahn Jung-geun at the railway station in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin initially opened in 2014 at Seoul's request to commemorate the revered fighter who assassinated a prominent Japanese colonial leader in the early part of the 20th century.

Hwang and Wang Xiankui, the Communist Party Secretary of the province, agreed to cooperate in the reopening of the hall which was temporarily relocated due to the station's renovation.

The premiere asked Wang to lend support to the project during a meeting in Seoul.

In October 1909, Ahn assassinated the Korean Peninsula's first Japanese governor-general, Hirobumi Ito, at Harbin Station. The assassination was a watershed moment in Japan's 36-year colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula that began in 1910.

The authorities will gradually renovate the Harbin railway station, where Ito was killed, by 2018, and the size of the memorial hall will be expanded to around 500 square meters from the current 200 square meters.

"Many visitors have visited the memorial hall since its opening, and the hall will be relocated to the station," Wang said.

The memorial hall at Harbin station has attracted about 200,000 visitors so far.

The two men, in addition, agreed to bolster bilateral trade and exchange between Seoul and the province, which is strategically located along the Sino-Russian border.

Wang visit is part of Seoul's efforts to build ties with influential Chinese officials. Since 2005, Seoul has invited two or three Chinese provincial leaders each year.

khj@yna.co.kr
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