At 12:30 PM, April 25, President Obama arrived on Air Force One at Osan Air Base for bilateral meeting. After the meeting, Obama had a joint press conference with President Park.
Urging the Japanese government to account for the wartime sex slavery system, Obama commented “It was a terrible and egregious violation of human rights.”
Before bilateral meeting, Obama expressed sympathies for the victims of the tragedy of the ferry Sewol and made a proposal to hold a moment of silence, saying “As allies but also as friends, we join you in mourning the lost and the missing, and especially so many young people.”
In response, Park said “Right after the tragic accident, you personally expressed your condolences. You were unsparing in providing active U.S. assistance, including the dispatch of salvage vessels. The Korean people drew great strength and courage from your kindness.”
In memory of passengers who died on the ferry Sewol, Obama presented the Koreans with a memorial flag and magnolia tree. The tree was presented to Danwon High School where most of the victims attended.
“In the United States, after the loss of our service members and veterans, we present a flag in their honor to their loved ones. I brought this American flag that was flown over the White House the same day as the sinking of the Sewol. In addition, I brought with me on this trip a magnolia tree from the South Lawn of the White House to extend sympathies for those who love lost their loved ones due to the recent tragedy,” said Obama.
Also, Obama returned nine ancient royal and national seals taken by a U.S. soldier during the Korean War. Late last year, the U.S. customs authorities seized the nine seals and decided to return them where they belong.
During his two-day visit, Obama laid a wreath at a memorial in Yongsan to honor Americans killed in the Korean War, toured Gyeongbok Palace with Professor Park Sangmee of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, met with American and Korean business leaders, and left for Malaysia.