UN chief meets with comfort woman
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Secretary-General met Friday with one of the less than 50 surviving victims of Japan's wartime military-run brothel system known as "comfort women."
Ban Ki-moon met with Gil Won-ok and Yoon Mee-Hyang, co-chair of the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan.
An agreement in December between South Korea and Japan included an indirect apology from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a Japanese pledge to provide 1 billion yen ($8 million) to a fund for the South Korean victims.
Ban, who is South Korean, said in a statement that he was sympathetic with Gil. "It is crucial that the voices of victims and survivors are heard," he said.
The meeting came the same week that survivor Yongsoo Lee addressed the United Nations Correspondents Association.
"I know Ban Ki-moon is Korean person but what does he know about what happened to us?" she said at the Tuesday meeting.
Only 46 of tens of thousands of Asian comfort women are still alive today, most of them in their late 80s and 90s.