S. Korea won't ask to renegotiate flawed comfort women deal

S. Korea won't ask to renegotiate flawed comfort women deal

S. Korea won't ask to renegotiate flawed comfort women deal

Japan should offer a "voluntary and honest apology", she said.

While on the campaign trail, Moon promised to renegotiate the comfort women deal, but also to "normalize" Korea-Japan relations severed by feuds over historical issues.

"I don't think that this is a matter that can be resolved in a give-and-take manner between governments with the victims excluded in the process", he added.

President Moon told reporters during a televised news conference in Seoul Wednesday that a 2015 agreement aimed at reaching a final settlement over the so-called "comfort women" failed to take into account the feelings and opinions of the victims.

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.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga welcomed North Korea's announcement that it would send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea next month but said it would do nothing to change the cooperation of the United States, Japan and South Korea on pressuring Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program.

The Japanese foreign minister said Japan would like further clarification as to what Seoul means by "matching Japan's contribution" and how it plans to use the funds.

By Tuesday, Seoul said it would not renegotiate the official agreement, following strong reactions from Tokyo regarding the Moon administration's response to the deal.

Kang also revealed that Seoul will put aside 8.9 million USA dollars to help the victims rather than use the equivalent amount offered by Tokyo in the 2015 deal as a compensation fund - as for the money from Tokyo, they plan to have further discussions on what to do with it. Seoul also called on Tokyo to make efforts of their own accord to help ease the victims' suffering, and give them a honest, voluntary apology.

The deal prompted strong criticism from victims and civic groups who claim that Japan's apology was not honest enough and that the government did not consult with them in advance.

China also has comfort women, survivors who may have been forcibly recruited into Japanese military quarters during Japan's incursions into continental Asia during World War II.

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

How the 1 billion yen raised by the Korean government to match the Japanese fund will be used is yet to be decided and will include consultations with the survivors and the Japanese government, according to a Korean Foreign Ministry official.

The Moon Jae-in government later made a decision not to seek the renegotiation of what it called the "flawed" agreement.

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