SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) — North Korea criticized South Korea Tuesday for reaching a deal with Japan over Tokyo’s wartime sex slavery, calling it a “humiliating agreement” that missed holding the Japanese state responsible for such atrocities.
A day earlier, Seoul and Tokyo reached a rare deal to resolve the issue over Korean women forced into Japan’s sex slaves during World War II. The agreement included Japan’s apology for Korean victims and a 1 billion yen (US$8.29 million) fund to be created with Japan’s money, but it failed to specify Japan’s legal responsibility for the issue.
The Association of Koreans in Japan for Peaceful Reunification rebuked South Korea for agreeing to the deal with Japan, dubbing it “humiliating diplomacy.”
“For South Korea, there is no more humiliating diplomacy than to reach such a deal with Japan. South Korea views the issue as being resolved finally and irreversibly, even though Japan did not state its legal responsibility in the matter,” it said in a statement carried by North Korea’s Chosun Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper based in Japan.
The association is under the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon, which represents North Korean interests in Tokyo.
North Korea has claimed that there are victims of Japan’s sex slavery in the North as well, calling on Japan to recognize its state responsibility for the issue.
The North said that Japan should admit its state accountability for the “hideous crimes” it committed during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, calling for resolutions in such a manner as to be “understandable to all Koreans.”