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(LEAD) S. Korea says deal on 'comfort women' reached with principle

All News 21:57 December 29, 2015

(ATTN: ADDS presidential official's comments in paras 5, 7-8)

SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) -- Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday that a landmark deal with Japan on the issue of Korean women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during World War II was reached in accordance with principle.

On Monday, the two countries announced the agreement on the former sex slaves that centered on Japan's admission of responsibility for the wartime crime and plans to pay reparations to the victims.

"(The deal) was reached in accordance with the firm principle that victims' honor should be restored, and their wounds should be healed," presidential spokesman Jeong Yeon-guk said.

Several local civic groups and the opposition party have said they cannot accept the deal as the Japanese government avoided legal responsibility.

Some of the victims also denounced the deal as a political collusion between the two nations as it fails to fully reflect their demands.

Under the deal, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized to the South Korean victims and Tokyo agreed to provide 1 billion yen (US$8.3 million) in reparations to the victims through a fund to be created by the Seoul government.

Noting that there "were limitations for the government to have close consultation with victims while negotiating with Japan," another Cheong Wa Dae official said, "we will explain (the details on the matter) to the victims and seek their understanding."

"The government will also take stern measures against any wrongful reports by Japanese media on the issue," he said, stressing that "it is crucial for the two nations to implement the agreements with sincerity."

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