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  • Author: Gabriel Jonsson
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: About 80 percent of the estimated 70,000 to 200,000 ”comfort women” Japan took by coercion from 1932 to 1945 were Korean. The issue was long neglected by both countries for pragmatic reasons. When Korean women raised the issue around 1990 and the former comfort woman Kim Hak-sun came out in 1991, it emerged as a point of dispute. Solidarity organizations in both countries have contributed to raise the visibility of the issue. Museums in Seoul and Tokyo educate the public on victims’ suffering. However, increased awareness has not succeeded in producing a solution to the issue that satisfies both countries given their fixed positions. Japan has given no official apology to the victims. The crucial issue of legal responsibility remains unresolved. On December 28, 2015, Japan expressed an apology and agreed to provide $8.3 million for a foundation to be established by South Korea to support the victims. However, the issue remains unresolved since the victims were not consulted in advance of the agreement, as well as disagreement also on other issues.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War, Women, History , Memory, Sexual Violence, Comfort Women
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Korea
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The Chinese policy toward the Korean Peninsula from the beginning of the Korean War in 1950 had been to keep it within the Chinese sphere of influence. As the occupation of the Korean Peninsula by a hostile nation would inevitably threaten China's national security it would not allow any foreign domination of Korean Peninsula. Therefore, China has consistently supported North Korea economically and militarily for the past half century. However, the Chinese policy toward South Korea was beginning to change as South Korea hosted the Olympic in 1988. North Korea also participated in the Olympic. China began to adopt an equal distance policy toward the two Koreas and established the diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 1992, an act of which was in fact the recognition of two governments in the Korean Peninsula. However, China insisted a peaceful reunification of two Koreas by opposing any attempt to reunify two Koreas by military means thus endorsing North Korean policy of reunification. When North Korea developed nuclear weapons in the 1990s and withdrew from the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1992, China supported the Six-Nation Talks by hosting them in Beijing for the sake of denuclearization of North Korea. This paper reviewed the role of China in the six-party talks, participated by China, the United States, Russia, Japan and two Koreas. Following series of negotiations in the 1990s and the six-party talks from 2003 to 2007 ten joint statements and agreements came out. This paper attempted to analyze them in the context of Sino-North Korean relations as well as North-South Korean relations. It is the conclusion of this paper that China expressed its national interest to realize the nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It is also China's interest that the two Koreas achieve the peaceful reunification. The Sino-South Korean relations has changed into a “strategic cooperative partnership” under the newly inaugurated government of Lee Myung-Back in Seoul.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Korea