Nikkei reported online from Seoul on remarks made to a local daily by Foreign Minister Kang, who commented on the diplomatic dispute with Japan over the ROK Supreme Court’s ruling ordering Japanese firms to pay redress to Koreans requisitioned to work at their plants during Japan’s colonial rule. The ROK official reportedly said that while internal deliberations are underway within the Moon administration on how to deal with the situation, it is still “premature” for the executive branch to take action as judicial proceedings are ongoing. “The executive branch must respect a decision taken by the judiciary under a democratic system that cherishes separation of powers….The foreign ministry is tasked with carefully managing the effect of the judiciary process on Japan-South Korea relations.”
As for the dissolution of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation for former comfort women, Minister Kang expressed hope for continuing discussions with Tokyo on how to handle the one-billion-yen contribution the GOJ extended when the fund was launched in accordance with the 2015 bilateral comfort women accord. The top South Korean diplomat added that the ROK government is planning to convene next year a major international conference on comfort women and other issues related to sexual violence in conflict zones.