January 30, 2019 13:03
President Moon Jae-in paid his last respects on Tuesday to Kim Bok-dong, who was forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Army in World War II and died of cancer on Monday. She was 93.
Kim was a vocal activist calling on Japan to apologize for its wartime atrocities. This is the first time an incumbent Korean president has paid his respects at the funeral of a sex slavery victim.
"If she had survived a little longer, she could have celebrated the 100th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement Day and even visited Pyongyang following the U.S.-North Korea summit," Moon said.
The president added that victims "are dying one by one. It breaks my heart to see them go while the problem remains unresolved."
Kim was a symbol of the plight of Korean women who were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese troops during the war. More than 1,000 people paid their last respects at her memorial altar.
The funeral ceremony will be held in front of the Japanese Embassy in downtown Seoul on Friday.
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