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S. Korean 'comfort women' for US military sue state for forced prostitution

Published time: June 29, 2014 14:29
Edited time: June 29, 2014 23:12
American soldiers are on their way to place anti-tank mines on a road, 06 August 1950, to stop the North Koreans from advancing. (AFP Photo)

American soldiers are on their way to place anti-tank mines on a road, 06 August 1950, to stop the North Koreans from advancing. (AFP Photo)

A group of South Korean former “comfort women”, who worked in state-controlled brothels for the US military after the 1950-53 Korean War, has reportedly filed a suit demanding compensation from the authorities for forced prostitution.

It’s the first time that such legal action has been taken regarding the brothels, or “special areas” that were sanctioned by the South Korean government, The Asahi Shimbun media outlet reported.

The women are seeking 10 million won ($9,850) for being made to serve as “US military comfort women” after the Korean War ended in 1953.

The suit, filed on June 25, stated that the South Korean authorities subjugated the women and forced them to provide sex, violating their human rights.

Moreover, the group said that they had been obliged to go through medical check-ups for sexually transmitted diseases.

The plaintiffs also urged the authorities to issue an official apology, revealing the true historical facts.

The Korean War lasted from 1950 till 1953 and split the country in two. During the war, the US intervened as South Korea’s ally, while China were allies of the North.

Throughout the war, UN and South Korean comfort stations operated on the frontline.

However, even after hostilities had ended, between the 1950s and 1960s, some 60 percent of all South Korean prostitutes worked near US military camps.

In 1960, two lawmakers in the South Korean National Assembly called on the country’s leadership to train a supply of prostitutes for the allied military, to prevent them from spending their money in Japan instead.

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