N. Korea calls on Japan to resolve sex slave issue

November 6, 2015

SEOUL (Yonhap) — North Korea urged Japan on Friday to recognize its state responsibility for Tokyo’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II, claiming that there are victims in the North as well.

Pyongyang’s call came as the leaders of South Korea and Japan agreed to spur efforts for an early resolution of the issue of the so-called comfort women during their first summit held in Seoul on Monday.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency 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.”

“This issue can hardly find a final solution unless the damage suffered by all Koreans is redressed throughout Korea because there are victims of the sexual slavery for the Imperial Japanese Army not only in the south of Korea but also in the north,” said an unidentified spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry, carried by the KCNA.

President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held their first summit earlier this week amid persistent historic rows over Japan’s wartime sex slavery.

South Korea demands Japan acknowledge state responsibility for the issue and offer proper compensation, while Tokyo insists the matter was settled under a 1965 treaty that normalized bilateral ties.