Organized Panel Session
As the only remaining divided country in the world, South Korean politics have been deeply divided between conservatives and progressives, or the right and left. The left is often accused of being pro-North. In the comfort women related issues, the divide is also along the age and social status, with the younger and less affluent people supportive of comfort women and their redress movement. On the other hand, the established, wealthy and influential class of people accuse the comfort women supporters of unrealistically intransigent and risking national security by insisting on comfort women demands. The divide became especially prominent in early 2017 during the diplomatic breach between South Korea and Japan. The Tokyo government recalled its ambassador to South Korea over an issue of a comfort women statue placed in front of the Japanese Consulate in the city of Busan, South Korea.
This paper will explore the reasons behind this great divide and attempt to find ways of reconciling the differences.
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