Monk Sets Himself Ablaze in Protest Against Japan’s Compensation for Wartime Sex Slaves

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Monk Sets Himself Ablaze in Protest Against Japan’s Compensation for Wartime Sex Slaves Korea Memorial Day by Korea.net with CC BY-SA 2.0

A Buddhist monk set himself on fire on Saturday during a massive protest rally organized in South Korea demanding the arrest of impeached president, Park Geun-hye. The 64-year-old monk was admitted in critical state in the Seoul National University Hospital.

Incidentally, on Saturday night, the monk poured combustible liquid on his body and set himself on fire during the candlelight march. A suicide note was found on his body demanding President Park to step down.

The monk suffered 2nd degree burns on his body. Also, his vital organs are currently in bad shape after the incident. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead by hospital officials after two days, reported Korea Times.

Thousands took to the streets for the eleventh week to show outrage over the lack of action taken against Park. Among Park’s list of bad decisions was the compensation agreement struck with Japan. The deal allowed Japan to settle the issue of sexually abusing South Korean women as World War II spoils.

The Compensation Deal Between Japan And South Korea

Both countries signed the deal in 2015. As per the terms, Japan agreed to pay damages by contributing to a Seoul-based foundation supporting victims and their families taken as sex slaves.

In return, South Korea promised to put the affair behind them. Also, a bronze statue commemorating the incident placed in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul was to be removed. Although Japan held up its end of the deal, South Korea has yet to complete its promice.

The Japanese government paid 1 billion yen ($8.5 million) in compensation. “Japan has sincerely fulfilled its obligation,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the airing of an NHK talk show, according to the New York Times. “Next, I think South Korea must firmly show its sincerity.”

Japan Threatens To Cut Off Economic Support

On the other hand, South Korean students organized sit-ins in front of the statue. Evidently, this was to ensure that country officials wouldn’t tear it down. Consequently, it makes it difficult for the Korean government to keep its end of the bargain.

Assessing the condition, Japan ordered its ambassador in South Korea to suspend economic talks. Japan insists on the South Korean government fulfilling its end of the deal to uphold “credibility” in spite of leadership changes.

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