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S. Korean FM to meet with former UN special rapporteur over wartime sex slaves

(Xinhua)

08:47, February 15, 2012

SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan will meet with a former UN special rapporteur to discuss the issue of Korean women forced into sexual slavery under Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule, the ministry said Tuesday.

Kim is scheduled to meet Friday with Gay J. McDougall, whose 1998 report was on Japan's legal liability for Korean wartime sex slaves under Tokyo's military regime, often euphemistically called "comfort women."

The meeting comes as South Korea seeks to form a panel of arbitrators in the latest attempt to resolve differences with Japan over compensating the former sex slaves.

Seoul's calls for talks with Tokyo on the compensation issue were repeatedly rebuked, as the former colonizer claims the 1965 treaty that normalized their ties had settled all legal issues concerning the comfort women.

Officials here argue that the issue is a humanitarian one left unaddressed by the treaty.

Seoul's efforts to bring the issue to the light came after the Constitutional Court here ruled last year the apparent inaction by the government on the issue "unconstitutional."

Some 100,000 to 200,000 Asian women, mostly Koreans, were forced to provide sexual service to the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

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