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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Han

Yoon Mee-hyang knowingly concealed “ROK-Japan Comfort Women Agreement”

Yoon Mee-hyang knowingly concealed “ROK-Japan Comfort Women Agreement” –

Is this the only embellishment of her hypocrisy?

Documents have been published, which include information that at the time of the conclusion of the 2015 ROK-Japan Comfort Women Agreement, ROK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) met several times with Yoon Mee-hyang, the then head of the Korean Council, and informed her of its contents in advance. According to four diplomatic documents gained by “Lawyers for Human Rights and Unification of Korea,” a group of lawyers, in a freedom-of-information request lawsuit, MOFA had conveyed the contents of negotiations to Lawmaker Yoon at least four times in the nine months before the said agreement was announced. Especially, the day before its announcement, they provided her with explanations about the Japanese government’s keen realization of responsibility, Japan’s Prime Minister’s direct representation of apology and remorse, and a 1-billion-yen level of contribution from the Japanese government budget, on the premise of being treated as “confidential.” Such were the “core contents” of the Comfort Women Agreement.

Nevertheless, Lee Yong-soo, a former comfort woman, said, “Yoon Mee-hyang didn’t tell us the contents of the agreement,” and added, “Only Yoon Mee-hyang knew that 1 billion yen would come in from Japan.” Lawmaker Yoon didn’t share the MOFA’s prior explanations with the victims. She said, “What I heard didn’t contain such matters as removal of the Comfort Woman Statue, irreversible solution, and 1-billion-yen contribution,” insisting that she had not heard of the “core contents.” But the MOFA’s documents show clearly that they informed her of a “1-billion-yen contribution.” At the time, the core of the agreement was to clarify Japan’s responsibility for a 1-billion-yen contribution from the Japanese government budget. And yet, Lawmaker Yoon not only concealed the core contents but also told a lie.

Yoon Mee-hyang, the then head of the Korean Council, strongly condemned the announcement of the Comfort Women Agreement. In recognition of this “performance,” she also became a lawmaker of the Democratic Party’s proportional representation. However, she was brought to trial on suspicion of her privately spending 100 million won which should be used for former comfort women. She spent the donations to eat kalbi, enjoy massages and even pay her speeding fine. Despite such a shameless case, a trial was finally held 13 months after her indictment. Even though her alleged corruption over real estate also emerged, the Democratic Party only expelled her but maintained her Diet seat. Lawmaker Yoon still wears a Diet member’s badge.

Just after Moon Jae-in, the former President took office, he virtually abandoned the Comfort Women Agreement, saying, “Its serious defects have been confirmed,” or “It must be renegotiated.” He took advantage of “Anti-Japan” for domestic politics throughout his term. In January last year, however, he suddenly changed his stance by 180 degrees, stating, “I recognized this agreement as an official one between two countries.” This is a matter of shame indeed.


Chosun Ilbo (Editorial dated May 27, 2022)

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