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Former sex slave embarks on U.S. campaign

All Headlines 10:45 March 08, 2016

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- A former sex slave of Japan's military left for the United States on Tuesday to campaign for a proper resolution of the issue decades after the atrocity took place, a civic group said.

Gil Won-wok, 89, will take part in various events in Washington and New York to raise awareness for the issue and demand its "just" resolution, according to the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan.

She is accompanied on the trip by representatives of the council, including its co-chief, Yoon Mee-hyang.

The 13-day trip is scheduled to include a rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, where participants will demand South Korea and Japan address the shortcomings in last year's bilateral agreement on the issue of the "comfort women."

Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, were forced to work in front-line brothels for the Japanese military during World War II. Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910-45.

Under the deal, Japan officially acknowledged its responsibility in the crime and offered an apology, as well as 1 billion yen (US$8.8 million) into a support fund for the victims.

Some of the victims, however, argued that Tokyo did not take legal responsibility when it agreed to resolve the issue.

On Friday, the group plans to visit the U.N. headquarters to deliver a petition calling on the international body to address remaining grievances.

Only 44 South Korean victims are currently known to be alive.

hague@yna.co.kr
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