World Bulletin / News Desk
South Korea conceded Tuesday that it would not abandon a contentious "comfort women" deal reached between Tokyo and Seoul's previous administration in 2015, despite admitting it failed to consider the opinions of now-elderly victims of Japanese colonial-era sexual slavery.
An investigation ordered by President Moon Jae-in, who took office last May, found the 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) compensation agreement to be flawed -- prompting speculation it might be canceled or renegotiated. Moon also welcomed surviving "comfort women" to a presidential office lunch last week.
However, after Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono warned Seoul late December against trying to alter a deal originally celebrated as "irreversible," his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-hwa clarified the situation on Tuesday.
"It cannot be denied that the 2015 deal was an official agreement reached between the governments of each country, and our government will not demand renegotiation," Kang said in a statement carried by Yonhap News Agency.
Instead of using Tokyo's fund, however, Seoul will now pay victims with its own money. Kang added that South Korea hoped Japan would offer the victims what they still sought -- "a voluntary and sincere apology."
Another victim passed away at age 89 last Friday, leaving just 31 known surviving Korean "comfort women" among the thousands of sex slaves drafted by Imperial Japan.
The latest woman to have died was just 13 when she was taken and forced to serve Japanese soldiers in a brothel in Manchuria.Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ocak 2018, 22:21