The Newest: Japan says it'll do what's wanted on N. Korea

S. Korea to announce Tues. position on

The dispute centers on the 1 billion yen ($8.84 million at current rates) Japan put into a South Korean foundation to compensate former comfort women and their descendants under the agreement.

Japan responded by saying any attempt by South Korea to revise the 2015 deal, struck by a conservative South Korean government, would make relations "unmanageable".

"It can not be denied that the 2015 deal was an official agreement reached between the governments of each country, and our government will not demand renegotiation", Kang said at a press conference, as quoted by the Yonhap News Agency.

"We can by no means accept South Korea's demands for additional measures", Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters in Tokyo.

"While the administration has changed", Kono responded Tuesday, "responsibly implementing" the pact remains a matter of "universal worldwide principle".

While allocating its state budget for covering the ¥1 billion contribution from the Japanese government, South Korea aims to discuss with Japan about what to do with the Japanese assistance, she said.

Instead of using Tokyo's fund, however, Seoul will now pay victims with its own money.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono																															Close												Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono Close Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono

But a refund "would amount to scrapping the agreement", a Foreign Ministry official in Tokyo said. Some in South Korea have suggested putting it in a trust if Japan does not come to the table.

Following the review result announcement, President Moon said the 2015 deal can not resolve the "comfort women" issue.

"(Seoul) is expected to urge Tokyo to take responsible steps vis-a-vis wrong (parts of the) deal in line with the seriousness of the comfort women issue and the spirit of the principles of universality for mankind", the source added.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in won an election previous year after promises on the campaign trail to renegotiate the deal. To Japan's chagrin, a similar statue went up in front of the consulate in Busan soon after.

Kenji Kanasugi, right, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, shakes hands with Kim Yong-kil, Korea's director general of Northeast Asian affairs, before meeting to discuss diplomatic issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul on Monday.

But Moon's claim that the issue remains unresolved could still be a stumbling block. Abe is leaning toward declining an invitation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, despite the potential for top-level talks between the countries.

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