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S. Korea seems to alter stance on UNESCO list

By Munenori Inoue / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent SEOUL — South Korea’s gender equality and family minister Chung Hyun Back expressed on Monday the South Korean government’s intention to help add materials related to so-called wartime comfort women to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register list, Yonhap News Agency reported.

South Korea’s Gender Equality and Family Ministry stopped applying for registration on the list after the Japan-South Korea deal concluded at the end of 2015 confirmed that the comfort women issue had been settled “finally and irreversibly.”

Chung’s remarks on Monday apparently indicated that South Korea has changed its policy on the issue.

In late May last year, citizens groups and others in China and South Korea applied for the registration of materials related to the comfort women issue. In South Korea, citizens groups lead the movement for registration.

“The comfort women issue is no longer a bilateral problem between South Korea and Japan, but is now an international problem,” Chung stressed.

Chung also expressed her intention to build a new museum dedicated to comfort women in Seoul.

If the South Korean government takes the initiative to build a museum related to comfort women, it would be the first time for it to do so.

Chung also indicated a policy to examine activities by the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation, a body set up by the South Korean government to support former comfort women under the bilateral deal based on funding contributed by the Japanese government.Speech

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