Seoul to announce follow-up measures to 'comfort women' deal review on Tuesday

The new South Korean government under President Moon Jae-in, who took office in May past year, reviewed the 2015 agreement as the victims protested against it, revealing secret deals with Japan.

However, throughout the course of negotiations, the usage of the term has been distorted to emphasize instead the final conclusion of the comfort women question, spurring criticisms that South Korea was dragged into Japan's intentions.

The pact was reached by the administration of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, predecessor to current President Moon Jae-in.

Japan has called on South Korea to hold up its end of the deal, with Foreign Minister Taro Kono warning that bilateral relations will become "unmanageable" if South Korea seeks to review it. "It's an worldwide and universal principle that such an accord should be implemented responsibly even after a change of government". Some former comfort women have urged Seoul to refund the money as a sign of protest.

A Japanese government spokesman says after the two Koreas agreed to resume long-stalled talks that Japan will do what's necessary to keep up pressure on North Korea to give up its weapons programs.

Kang said there is no denying that the agreement was formal. "We don't plan to even discuss" how the funds will be handled, the official said. To Japan's chagrin, a similar statue went up in front of the consulate in Busan soon after.

A South Korean investigation appointed by the government concluded last month that the dispute over the women could not be " fundamentally resolved" because the victims' demand for legal compensation had not been met.

He told reporters Friday that Japan will "take all steps necessary", including cooperating with China and Russian Federation, to step up pressure on North Korea so it will give up its nuclear weapons and missile development policies.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also said several times on January 4 that the agreement "will not move an inch", and deplored South Korea for "moving the goal post every time".

Kenji Kanasugi, right, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, shakes hands with Kim Yong-kil, Korea's director general of Northeast Asian affairs, before meeting to discuss diplomatic issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul on Monday. Abe is leaning toward declining an invitation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, despite the potential for top-level talks between the countries.


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