South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Gyoan, currently acting for President Park Guen-Hye, whose powers are suspended following the passage of the impeachment bill, emphasized on Dec. 18 that “the keynote of important policies will remain unchanged” on the diplomatic front, including the Japan-South Korea agreement on the issue of comfort women.” Hwang was answering a question from the Yonhap News Agency. As opposition parties have been calling for reviewing the agreement, the rift between the administration and the opposition camp may be deepened.
Regarding the U.S. military’s deployment of its state-of the-art “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)” missile interception system to South Korea, the prime minister also explained, “We cannot invalidate the agreement, which was made as a result of all our efforts.”
The opposition parties are strongly calling for reviewing the THAAD agreement as a “negative policy” promoted by President Park. As for the Japan-South Korea agreement on the issue of comfort women, Choo Miae, the leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, the largest of all opposition parties, demands that the agreement should immediately be suspended, calling it a “wrong policy.” Choo’s immediate predecessor, Moon Jaein, who is one of the potential candidates for next president, asserts, “The justifiability of the agreement is highly questionable and a further discussion on the matter is needed.”