March 20, 2018

South Korea Won't Seek Renegotiation of Comfort Women Deal With Japan

10 January 2018, 12:34 | Rufus Hill

Seoul to announce measures on 'defective' sex slavery deal

S. Korea to announce Tues. position on

South Korea and Japan announced the deal on December 28, 2015, under which they agreed to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the comfort women issue, while Tokyo apologized for its colonial-era atrocities and agreed to contribute 1 billion yen (US$8.9 million) to a foundation dedicated to supporting the victims.

Noh said the government will prepare follow-up measures by listening to the opinions of the women, their supporters and the South Korean public.

"It can not 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 at a press conference, as quoted by the Yonhap News Agency.

The deal between Moon's predecessor, President Park Geun-hye, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe included a Japanese government apology and multimillion-dollar fund for survivors.

In response, her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, called the request "absolutely unacceptable", saying the 2015 agreement settled the issue "finally and irreversibly".

"While the administration has changed", Kono responded Tuesday, "responsibly implementing" the pact remains a matter of "universal global principle".

In particular, with the PyeongChang Olympic Games just around the corner, the party stated that the announcement comes at the "worst strategic time ever" and does not meet even the government's own intent to invite the Abe administration to the Olympics.

While allocating its state budget for covering the ¥1 billion contribution from the Japanese government, South Korea aims to discuss with Japan about what to do with the Japanese assistance, she said.

Seoul's foreign ministry announced a set of measures that include desisting from seeking a renegotiation of the deal and from using the money that Tokyo has offered to support the former sex slaves under the deal.

A Seoul official says both Koreas have agreed to hold their first talks in more than two years next Tuesday.

In 2015, when there were 47, 36 accepted the settlement, a the official said.

South Korea's top negotiator on North Korea's nuclear issues will visit Washington this week to share assessments on the latest developments involving the North, the foreign ministry said Tuesday. "In consideration of such, our government will not call for a renegotiation of the agreement". To Japan's chagrin, a similar statue went up in front of the consulate in Busan soon after.

A South Korean investigation appointed by the government concluded last month the dispute over the women could not be "fundamentally resolved" because the victims' demand for legal compensation had not been met.

He suggested that Japan will file a protest through diplomatic channels in Tokyo and Seoul.

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