SEOUL – South Korean President Park Geun-hye thanked a senior U.S. congressman for his support in Seoul’s efforts to resolve the issue of Korean women who were forced to work at Japanese military brothels during the war.
“One recently published photo of Chairman Royce moved the hearts of all South Koreans,” Park told a U.S. congressional mission led by Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to a report Tuesday by Yonhap News Agency.
Earlier this month, Royce, a Republican congressman from California, visited a statue of a girl in Glendale, California, honoring the sex slaves, known euphemistically in Japan as “comfort women,” and also called for Japan’s wartime atrocities to be taught in schools.
The bronze statue was the first of its kind outside of the Korean Peninsula and the result of two years of efforts by Korean-Americans in California, reports said.
“Our people were greatly touched to see you visit the girl’s statue in Glendale,” Park told the bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation at the presidential office.
Royce is known for his support over the wartime sex slavery issue. He was the first U.S. federal lawmaker to visit the statue.
South Korea has demanded bilateral talks on the issue, but Japan has refused.