S. Korea expresses gratitude to Japan for assisting return of Koreans from war

The South Korean government has expressed gratitude to Japan for helping bring back a group of Koreans from war-stricken Israel, a foreign ministry official said Saturday.

Earlier in the morning, a Japanese air tanker arrived in Tokyo from Israel, carrying dozens of its nationals, along with 18 South Koreans and a foreign family member of one of the Korean passengers.

The move was seen as reciprocation after a South Korean military aircraft brought back 51 Japanese people, along with 163 South Koreans, from Israel a week earlier.

"Foreign Minister Park Jin expressed gratitude to Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on behalf of the South Korean government for helping with the departure of 18 Korean nationals and a Korean descendant," a foreign ministry official said.

While expressing her gratitude to the Seoul government for assisting with the return of Japanese nationals from Israel in a telephone call with Park last week, Kamikawa had pledged Japan's "proactive" cooperation in the event of a similar situation facing South Korean nationals amid the Israel-Hamas war, according to Seoul officials.

The two countries plan to continue to cooperate closely for the protection of their nationals overseas amid the fast-changing international security situation, they said. (Yonhap)

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