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Monday, May 4, 2015, 12:08

S Korea's Park urges Abe to face up to history

By Xinhua
S Korea's Park urges Abe to face up to history

In this photo taken on March 1, 2015, South Korean President Park Geun-hye speaks during a ceremony to celebrate the March First Independence Movement Day, the anniversary of the 1919 uprising against Japanese colonial rule, in Seoul (AFP PHOTO / POOL)

SEOUL - South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to face up to its imperialistic history and apologize for wartime brutalities, citing Abe's speech to US Congress.

"The Abe government failed to take advantage of chances to making a sincere apology for historical issues, such as comfort women victims, and strengthen trust with neighboring countries. ( His failure) is being criticized in the United States," Park told a meeting of senior presidential secretaries.

Abe became the first Japanese premier on April 29 to address the joint session of the US Congress, saying that he would " uphold" related statements made by his predecessors for the Imperial Japan's past brutalities.

However, he fell short of mentioning Japan's "colonial rule and aggression" and apologizing for wartime atrocities, causing strong criticism from neighboring countries, especially South Korea and China, as well as from some US politicians.

President Park said that Japan is being "buried in the past" as Abe and his cabinet failed to face up to history and reconcile with neighbors, noting that South Korea will push forward its two- track diplomatic strategy according to its existing convictions.

While pushing to make clear historical issues, diplomatic issues, including the US-South Korea alliance, China-South Korea relations and South Korea-Japan ties will be addressed separately with a clear aim and direction, said Park.

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