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U.N. chief calls for faithful implementation of Korea-Japan deal on 'comfort women'

All Headlines 09:03 March 01, 2016

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29 (Yonhap) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Monday for the "faithful implementation" of a landmark agreement between South Korea and Japan on resolving the issue of Japan's wartime sexual slavery.

Ban made the remark during a high-level panel discussion at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, referring to the December deal between Seoul and Tokyo that centers on Japan's admission of responsibility for the wartime crime and plans to pay reparations to the victims.

"The agreement last December between Japan and the Republic of Korea on the so-called 'comfort women' subjected to tremendous suffering during the Second World War highlights the need to address the pain of the victims, no matter how many years have passed," Ban said, according to a transcript of his speech posted on the U.N. website.

"I hope the faithful implementation of the agreement, guided by the recommendations of U.N. Human Rights mechanisms, will help such wounds to be healed," he said.

The deal removes the biggest thorn in relations between Seoul and Tokyo, and offers hope not only for greater cooperation between the two neighbors, but also for significant progress in U.S. efforts to forge stronger security cooperation with the two allies in a region marked by a rising China.

Ban also called for greater efforts to improve the human rights situation in North Korea.

"In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, systematic and widespread human rights violations have been vividly documented by the Commission of Inquiry and highlighted by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a briefing to the Security Council last December," he said.

"The United Nations system must continue to work with the Governments of all States that routinely deny human rights, to address these challenges," he said.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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