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South Korea to unveil decision over 'comfort women' deal with Japan

South Korea to unveil decision over 'comfort women' deal with Japan

While admitting the deal was flawed, Minister Kang said the South Korean government will not request a renegotiation, as it is an official agreement made between the two governments.

The agreement has been criticized in South Korea, where many people don't believe that Japan has fully made amends for its wartime legacy.

Under the deal, South Korea promised not to raise the issue again and Japan transferred 1 billion yen (now US$8.9 million) to a foundation dedicated to supporting the victims.

The agreement was finalised by former president Park Geun-hye under pressure from Washington in the face of mounting security threats from North Korea. She was formally removed from office in March 2017 and is now facing charges of corruption and abuse of power.

But Seoul will not use any more of Tokyo's money for the survivors, replacing the funds from its own budget, Kang said, urging Tokyo to offer a "voluntary and honest apology".

Seoul will also pursue a "future-oriented" relations with Tokyo, and discuss how its one billion yen contribution for the victims will be processed.

The South Korean government has asked Tokyo for Abe to visit South Korea during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next month.




Despite the president's opposition to the final deal, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Tuesday Seoul will not renegotiate the agreement, as it is "undeniable" that it was a formal agreement between Tokyo and the previous South Korean government.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Tuesday told reporters the deal "cannot be a genuine solution to the issue".

"There is no room for any compromise on that agreement", he said. Tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of women were compelled to work in brothels that served the Japanese military. But others rejected it, and some have been protesting regularly in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

Kanasugi called South Korea's recognizing the deal as wrong "unacceptable".

Mr Moon's remarks drew an angry response from Japan, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga saying that Japan "can never accept it" if South Korea were to demand more measures on top of the agreement. "The victims were disappointed by the government's decision not to seek a renegotiation of the deal", said Ahn Shin-kwon, director of the House of Sharing, a nursing home for nine surviving victims.

"I seriously doubt that having a dialogue on Olympic participation alone will lead to any positive development on the issues of Japanese nationals abducted (by North Korea) or the nuclear and missile development".

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