Family history behind 'comfort women' deal

PHOTO: Reuters

SEOUL - After years of drawn-out and often acrimonious negotiations, in late December, the South Korean and Japanese governments finally came to an agreement over the issue of wartime "comfort women." However, accepting the agreement has brought the administration of President Park Geun-hye in for a chorus of criticism at home.

The president, however, is showing no signs of doubt over the deal struck with Tokyo on the long-running dispute, which has been a thorn in the side of the bilateral relationship for decades. "We strove to ensure that it will be the best agreement possible," she said.

The issue of "comfort women" in particular has special personal implications for Park.

Family matter

Many see the agreement as a milestone in Park's life-long quest to restore the honour of her father, General Park Chung-hee, who seized power in a 1961 coup and ruled the country until his assassination in 1979 at the hands of Korean intelligence chief Kim Jae-gyu.

The assassination, which came five years after her mother was shot dead in a failed attempt on her father's life, left her and her two younger siblings struggling against adversity.

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