The Korea Herald


Korean victim of Japan's wartime sexual slavery dies at 97

By Jo He-rim

Published : Dec. 5, 2018 - 16:18

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Another elderly Korean victim of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery died Wednesday, a civic commemoration council said.

Kim Soon-ok died of natural causes at the age of 97 at Seoul Asan Medical Center, according to the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

With Kim’s death, the number of known surviving victim stands at 26. This year alone, five other victims have died, including Kim Bok-deuk in early July.

Kim Soon-ok, who was born in Pyongyang in 1922, was tricked into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in 1943, when she was 20 years old. She was told she could earn money by working at a factory but was taken to a Japanese military brothel in China, according to the civic council.

After liberation in 1945, she stayed in China and returned to Korea in 2005, at 84. With the help of civic organizations here, she was able to recover her citizenship. She actively spoke out on the issue of wartime sexual slavery by the Japanese military.

Historians believe some 200,000 women -- many of them from the Korean Peninsula -- were forced to work in front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II.