National / Politics

South Korean foreign minister says Seoul should not meddle in wartime labor cases


South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday she thinks Seoul should not meddle in wartime labor lawsuits in which South Korean plaintiffs have launched procedures to convert assets seized from Japanese companies into cash.

Speaking to reporters, she explained that the perspective of allowing South Korean nationals to exercise their rights is behind the government’s inaction over the cases.

Noting that it would be important to find solutions that can be accepted by the victims, Kang said the South Korean government is analyzing and examining the situation continuously.

She also stressed that Japanese and South Korean diplomatic authorities are making efforts to manage the problem properly so as to prevent the situation from getting worse due to overreaction.

With Japan, which entered a new era with the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito on Wednesday, South Korea will continue to promote the development of future-oriented relations while facing history squarely, the foreign minister added.

On Wednesday, Japan protested that the South Korean government has yet to take any concrete steps to correct the state of violating the 1965 bilateral accord to settle wartime compensation issues.