• ASIA-PACIFIC

Yoon vows to solve wartime labor issue

Pool photo via AP
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks at a news conference at the presidential office in Seoul on Wednesday.

SEOUL (Jiji Press) — South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Wednesday vowed to improve his country’s relationship with Japan by resolving the wartime labor issue through concessions and understanding.

Regarding wartime labor lawsuits filed in South Korea against Japanese companies, Yoon told a press conference to mark his 100th day in office that he has a positive outlook.

Yoon said he believes that the issue can be resolved amicably and quickly through concessions and understanding when future-oriented relations are strengthened.

South Korea’s Supreme Court may issue a ruling this week at the earliest to finalize a court order to sell assets of a Japanese company seized in South Korea in a lawsuit to seek compensation for labor provided by Koreans during World War II.

Yoon said his government is considering ways to allow the plaintiffs to receive compensation without clashing with Japan over the issue. He also said that he will resolve history issues with Japan in a future-oriented manner based on the principle of universal values and norms.

On North Korea’s denuclearization, Yoon said Seoul will provide assistance if Pyongyang shows a resolve to give up its nuclear development program and shift to denuclearization, stressing that this is a comprehensive proposal including political and military matters.

In some public opinion surveys, the approval ratings for the Yoon administration have slipped below 30%.