Japan

N Korean paper raps Japan’s reaction to S Korean court ruling

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The newspaper of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party carried an editorial Sunday supporting a recent South Korean court ruling ordering a Japanese company to pay compensation for wartime forced labor.

The editorial in the Rodong Sinmum lambasted objections to the ruling by Japanese government officials as "barefaced impudence."

It is possible that North Korea will in the future push its demands for compensation for Japanese colonial rule by referring to the same ruling.

The newspaper criticized by name Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who called the ruling "unbelievable" and indicated Tokyo could take the case to the International Court of Justice.

"More than 8.4 million people were kidnapped, abducted and forcibly transported to battlefields and backbreaking workplaces, and 200,000 women were forced into sexual slavery," it said. "Our people must accept Japan' apologies and compensation a thousand times over."

On Oct 30, South Korea's Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp to compensate four South Koreans for forced labor during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

Japan maintains that the issue of compensation related to the period was settled under an agreement attached to a 1965 treaty that established diplomatic ties between Japan and South Korea.

The Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration of 2002 states that both sides agreed to discuss the issue of property and claims in talks to normalize their ties "pursuant to the basic principle that when the bilateral relationship is normalized both…would mutually waive all their property and claims and those of their nationals that had arisen from causes which occurred before August 15, 1945."

© KYODO

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