S.Korea says ‘comfort women’ deal flawed

Source:Reuters Published: 2017/12/28 22:53:40

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that a 2015 agreement with Japan over South Korean "comfort women" was seriously flawed after Japan said any attempt to revise it could damage relations.

A South Korean panel set up to investigate the deal concluded on Wednesday that it failed to meet the needs of the thousands of girls and women who were forced to work in Japan's wartime military brothels, many of them Korean, euphemistically termed "comfort women" by Japan.

The announcement threw ties into doubt as both countries seek to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

"The agreement cannot solve the comfort women issue," Moon said, calling the deal a "political agreement that excludes victims and the public" and violates general principles in international society, according to a statement.

A Japanese foreign ministry spokesperson said Japan had conveyed its position to South Korea through diplomatic channels following Moon's remarks, reiterating Foreign Minister Taro Kono's comment on Wednesday that any attempt to change the deal would be "unacceptable" and make relations "unmanageable."

Asked if Moon meant to declare the deal null and void, Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for the president's office, said it was "inappropriate" for him to use that term at this point, adding the government would present its "final position."


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