Korea, Japan hold ‘comfort women’ talks post-summit

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Korea, Japan hold ‘comfort women’ talks post-summit

Seoul and Tokyo were unable to reach a breakthrough Wednesday during working-level talks on the issue of Japan’s forced mobilization of Korean women into military brothels during World War II.

The discussions came just 10 days after Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held bilateral talks for the first time since either took office.

Lee Sang-deok, the director-general of the Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke with his Japanese counterpart Kimihiro Ishikane for over two hours in Seoul as they attempted to narrow their differences on the matter.

“The Korean government’s position on the issue is clear - that the ‘comfort women’ issue was not included in the 1965 treaty to normalize bilateral relations between Korea and Japan, and that stance is the basis of our negotiations today,” Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam reiterated Wednesday morning in a radio interview.

Tokyo asserts that all claims issues were settled with the 1965 bilateral treaty. The two sides have been stuck over whether Tokyo will take legal responsibility for its coercion of tens of thousands Korean women and girls - euphemistically known as comfort women - into sexual slavery during the war.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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