President reports progress on comfort women

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President reports progress on comfort women

President Park Geun-hye said Friday that there has been significant progress on the comfort women issue in negotiations with Japan. According to Park, the talks between the two governments are in their final stages.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Park said she has high expectations that this year will mark a significant time for the two countries. In July, Korea and Japan will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations.

Park, however, refused to elaborate on the progress, saying, “Because it is clearly an under-the-table negotiation between the two countries, it is difficult for me to reveal the contents.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has conducted talks with Japan since April last year to address the issue of the Japanese military’s forced sexual slavery of Korean women during the World War II. The eighth round of talks ended Thursday.

Park continued to pressure Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to issue an apology to the Korean victims, stressing that their wounds must be healed before the aged women die.

“Historians in Japan and from around the world have demanded that a Japanese leader face the past for the advancement of Korea-Japan relations,” said Park. “But they rejected it and that has been an obstacle.”

BY SHIN YONG-HO [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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