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Opposition leader visits Japanese embassy over quake

The leader of South Korea's main opposition party on Monday visited the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to express deep consolation for Japan's enormous human and property losses caused by massive earthquake and tsunami.

"I express my deepest consolation to the Japanese people," Sohn Hak-kyu, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), said in his meeting with Masatoshi Muto, Japan's ambassador to South Korea, at the embassy.

A record 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a tsunami devastated Japan's northeastern coast on Friday, leaving at least 3,800 people dead and hundreds of others missing. Media reports say the number could be as high as 20,000.

"I thank our government for sending rescuers to the disaster areas, and the DP will also join efforts to help Japan recover from the damage," Sohn said.

He became the first leader of a main opposition party in South Korea to visit the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. The unscheduled visit was made to express Sohn's "sincere sympathy" to the ally hit by a deadly disaster, party officials said.

Muto, in response, thanked Sohn for his hearty consolation and the government's quick dispatch of rescue workers, they said.



(Yonhap News)
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