Abe, Ratas agree to step up pressure on N.Korea

Abe, Ratas agree to step up pressure on N.Korea

It said it would consult with Japan on what to do with the funds already given by the country. He also pointed to the EU's economic partnership agreement with Japan that were completed a year ago during Estonia's European Union council presidency.

All six nations Abe is visiting are among the 16 Central and Eastern European countries that hold an annual summit meeting with China. "It is an worldwide and universal principle to keep it".

"This issue can not be resolved through a give-and-take deal between governments struck over the victims' head", he said.

On Tuesday, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Seoul expects Tokyo to do more to settle the matter, although her country will not seek to renegotiate the agreement. Following Moon's remarks, the Japanese government reportedly filed a formal protest with the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo.

Japanese media reports have said Abe may not attend the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month because of the feud, although the government's top spokesman said on Thursday that it had not been decided.

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The issue of women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops in World War II has roiled relations between the neighbours - both of them United States allies and both threatened by nuclear-armed North Korea - for decades.

Japan has repeatedly rejected South Korea's fresh requests on the matter and urged Seoul to carry out the deal, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga saying Tokyo is "not thinking of moving even a millimetre" on the deal.

"In theory, historical issues can be separated from security issues, but in reality, it cannot", Kim told The Korea Herald.

But it said it would no longer use Japanese money to compensate the survivors. They have demanded the deal be invalidated, saying the government did not consult with them in advance and Japan's apology was not honest.

Moon had lambasted the agreement on the campaign trail and was elected president in May after Park was impeached and jailed over a massive corruption scandal. He has pursued a "two track" approach of separating historical issues from current affairs to build a "future-oriented" relationship with Japan.

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