A 2015 deal reached between South Korea and Japan to resolve the issue of Korean women forced into sexual slavery by Japanese colonial forces was insufficient, a special South Korean task force announced Wednesday.
The deal was reached between Seoul and Tokyo under the administration of ousted President Park Geun-hye. Japan agreed to apologize for the actions of its troops during its brutal rule of the Korean peninsula between 1910 and 1945, and to pay $8 million into a fund established to support the victims.
But the task force issued a report saying South Korean negotiators failed to seek the opinions of the so-called “comfort women” who worked in Japanese military brothels. Historians believe that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea as well as other parts of Asia, were forced into sexual slavery during World War II.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha offered an apology to the survivors during a press conference Wednesday. But her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, issued a statement urging Seoul to continue to honor the deal, warning that bilateral ties would be damaged if South Korea tries to amend it.
President Moon Jae-in ordered a review of the deal shortly after taking office in May of this year.