Seoul, Jan. 23 (Jiji Press) — South Korea plans to dissolve within this year a foundation set up under an accord with Japan to provide financial support for so-called former comfort women, Minister of Gender Equality and Family Chung Hyun-Back said in an interview published Tuesday.
If the foundation is dissolved, it will be impossible for Japan and South Korea to implement their landmark accord struck in 2015 to resolve the issue of former comfort women in South Korea, who were forced into prostitution for Japanese troops before and during World War II.
In an interview with the Kyunghyang Shinmun, Chung said that the South Korean government needs to show respect for requests by former comfort women and their support groups for the disbandment of the foundation. President Moon Jae-in has expressed his intention to deal with the issue in line with the victims’ wishes, she said.
The functions of the foundation have already been suspended in effect, after five of its directors resigned, leaving only three dispatched from the South Korean government on the board, Chung said.
The minister expressed hopes that the foundation will be legally terminated by the end of this year.