SEOUL, July 31 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea officially launched a task force (TF) to review an agreement with Japan reached in 2015 to settle a long-standing bilateral feud over Japan’s imperial-era mobilization of Korean women as sex workers, the foreign ministry said Monday.
The TF is tasked with fact-finding and assessing the processes leading up to the signing of the so-called comfort women deal, as well as its terms, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The launch of the special team is in line with President Moon Jae-in’s campaign promise to revisit the bilateral agreement, which has been widely criticized for lacking Japan’s official apology and pledge of liability for its forced sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told the nine-member team to thoroughly vet the agreement from the perspective of the comfort women victims, according to the ministry.
The TF plans to make the result of its assessment public by the end of this year, the ministry said. Upon the result, the Moon administration is expected to make a final decision on the fate of the 2015 deal.
The team is headed by Oh Tai-kyu, formerly a progressive journalist who advised Moon on social issues while on the president’s transition team, and staffed with eight other experts on diplomacy, human rights and international law, as well as ministry officials.
They held their inaugural session earlier in the day where future plans and directions of the TF were discussed, the foreign ministry said.