South Korean President meets former 'comfort women'
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday met women who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II, days after their plight again cast a shadow over relations with Japan.
A South Korean panel set up to investigate a 2015 agreement with Japan on the thousands of girls and women forced to work in Japan's military brothels, euphemistically termed "comfort women" by Japan, said the deal failed to meet their needs.
Moon said the 2015 deal, under which Japan apologized to victims and provided 8.8 million US dollars worth of funding to help them, was seriously flawed. 
Japan said any attempt to revise it could damage relations.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and South Korean President Moon Jae In (R). /VCG Photo‍

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and South Korean President Moon Jae In (R). /VCG Photo‍

Eight of the women met Moon for lunch at the presidential compound in Seoul, the president's office said in a statement.
"We told you the previous government's agreement was wrong and this issue hasn't been resolved," Moon told one of the women before the lunch.
"It's still not an easy situation to handle within our bilateral relationship," he said.
Moon wanted to gauge the women's reaction to his government's position on the deal, the Blue House said.
Moon meets "comfort women". /VCG Photo

Moon meets "comfort women". /VCG Photo

Moon visited one of the women, Kim Bok-dong, separately in the morning as she was ill and unable to attend the lunch.
"We survived when bullets were raining down and we'll be able to get through this," Kim told Moon, per the Blue House.
The women want Japan to take legal, binding responsibility for its actions and Kim was scornful of the 2015 pay-out.
"The money should be sent back to Japan," she said.
South Korean activists estimate that there may have been as many as 200,000 Korean women forced to work in the brothels.
Moon meets ill "comfort women" in the hospital. /VCG Photo‍

Moon meets ill "comfort women" in the hospital. /VCG Photo‍

As of December, there are at least 32 surviving, according to a South Korean civic group set up to look after their rights.
It was the second time former "comfort women" visited the Blue House during Moon's presidency.
Moon's announcement on the Japanese deal last week raised consternation in Japan, where media reported said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may decide not to visit South Korea for the Winter Olympics there next month.
South Korea's foreign ministry said on Thursday it would seek final measures on the issue as quickly as possible while one ministry official told Reuters the measures could be finalised as early as next week.
Source(s): Reuters