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Court again rejects Korean A-bomb victims' suit against gov't

All Headlines 12:26 August 31, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul court on Wednesday ruled in favor of the government and dismissed a compensation suit filed by South Koreans who survived the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings in Japan.

The Seoul Northern District Court turned down the suit filed by 141 victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, seeking 10 million won (US$9,000) in compensation for each victim.

They said the government neglected its duty to take active measures against Japan to settle the issue by referring the matter to an arbitration committee.

The plaintiffs cited a pact reached between Seoul and Tokyo to normalize diplomatic ties in 1965, which stipulated that any disputes regarding the implementation of the deal should be resolved through diplomatic channels. What cannot be resolved in such a way should then be brought to a dedicated arbitration committee comprised of the two countries' representatives and one from a third country.

The court, however, like previous rulings in similar cases, said it is hard to say the government failed to perform its duty to start the arbitration procedure when it has made efforts to resolve the dispute.


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