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S. Korea, Japan vow to faithfully enforce landmark deal for comfort women

All Headlines 21:55 August 24, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan agreed Wednesday to "faithfully" enforce the landmark deal that aims to help recover the dignity of women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops during World War II, the foreign ministry here said.

The agreement was reached at a bilateral meeting between South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, according to the ministry. it was held on the sidelines of a trilateral foreign ministers' meeting also involving China.

"The two ministers reaffirmed that it is important to recover the dignity of the victims and heal their scars by faithfully carrying out what was agreed upon in the December deal, and also shared the view that they should work closely together to that end," the ministry said in a press release.

South Korea and Japan reached the deal on Dec. 28 under which Tokyo expressed an apology for its colonial-era atrocities and agreed to launch a foundation dedicated to supporting the surviving victims. Japan also promised to contribute 1 billion yen (US$9.97 million) to the foundation.

Kishida said that the Japanese government earlier endorsed the contribution plan for the foundation, a move that Yun saw as a sign that things are moving "smoothly" to resolve the long-running rift over the victims of sexual slavery, euphemistically called comfort women.

The two also discussed North Korea's latest missile provocation during the meeting, in which Yun expressed deep concern over Pyongyang's outright pursuit of improved nuclear and missile capabilities and underlined the need for a united front among the two countries along with the U.S. in sending a strong message against further provocations.

Kishida emphasized that the firing off of North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missile is a serious provocation that can never be tolerated. He said the two countries should cooperate with each other to draw a strong response from the international community, the ministry said.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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