We Have No More Time
We Have No More Time
  • Reporter Lee Mi-yeon
  • 승인 2019.02.11 22:59
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Memorial event for Kim Bok-dong/ Yonhap
Memorial event for Kim Bok-dong/ Yonhap


Kim Bok-dong, a South Korean victim of sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War Ⅱ and a symbol of the fight against wartime violence, died Jan. 29, reducing the number of surviving victims to 23. Kim was taken to Japan in 1940 when she was only 14 years old. She was told that she would work in a factory to support Japan’s war effort, but instead she forced to work in Japanese military brothels. 
Kim did not remain a victim, but was at the forefront of setting history straight by demanding an apology and legal compensation for Japan’s aggression. She broke the silence on the issue and publicly testified about the experience as a wartime sex slave. She was also a regular participant in the Wednesday rallies, which began in 1993 in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to demand an apology from Japan and formal reparations. 
In 2015, South Korea and Japan signed a deal in which Japan apologized to the victims and provided 9.15 million USD for Reconciliation and Healing Foundation set up under South Korea’s Gender Ministry to support the victims. However, victims and members of public protested the deal saying it failed to reflect victims’ demands. They called for the nullification of the deal and dissolution of the foundation. They demand a sincere apology from Japan and formal recognition of Japan’s legal responsibility for its war crimes. Partially, the present Government disband the foundation. 
Her last words were: “Please fight this out until the comfort women issue is resolved.” It is time to give courage and hope to those who broke the silence. Their average age is 91 years old. We do not have much time.

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