Comfort Women, Nuclear Weapons and the Olympics

The North Korean security situation has raised concerns and could deteriorate after the Winter Olympics in South Korea. This is because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision this week to attend the games’ opening ceremony.


Japan’s government has welcomed the North Korean participants in the “celebration of peace” in Pyeongchang and it is seen as making a back-up plan for any conflict on the Korean Peninsula.


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Rumors were spreading that Abe might not attend the ceremony in Pyeongchang, although hostilities may be neutralized for the time being, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was heard saying to tell Abe of the need for Japan, South Korea and the United States to work together and maintain the maximum level of pressure to deal with the threat from North Korea.


Meanwhile, in Japan, Abe has also said he will state Japan’s stance on a bilateral deal reached in 2015 on the issue of the comfort women. They were women and girls forced to work in Japanese military brothels before and during World War II.


And having a task force to review the deal clinched under his disgraced predecessor, Park Geun-hye, Moon has called for Tokyo to make an apology to the women and their families who were and are still disgraced.


Japan is to pay up to ¥1 billion ($9.1 million) to a South Korean foundation set up specifically for the comfort women. South Korea has also said it would solve the issue involving a statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul that symbolizes the women, which the Japanese embassy wants relocated.


As a compromise develops between the two Koreas, Abe is urging Moon to remain firm in adding more pressure to the North rather than motivating discussions that could allow North Korea to be acknowledged as a nuclear power. Something the U.S., Japan and South Korea cannot allow.


Reference: Abe’s attendance at Olympic ceremony seen as prioritizing North Korea fears over ‘comfort women’ row


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