The Korea Herald


Third court blocks forced labor payment

By Choi Si-young

Published : July 5, 2023 - 20:06

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A third South Korean court on Wednesday refused to remit government money as compensation to the family members of Korean victims forced into labor during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule, a process mandated by the March 6 settlement agreed by Korea and Japan.

The March deal requires a state-run foundation to pay the 15 victims, not Japanese companies held liable by a 2018 Korean court ruling amid the firms’ opposition. Four victims -- two alive, two dead -- and their representatives have refused to take government money, demanding company compensation while calling the deposits a “legally flawed” resolution.

It was not immediately clear why the Suwon District Court dismissed the latest government payment for the two deceased victims’ family members -- the third trial court to have rejected government payment as compensation since Tuesday.

Hours ahead of the Wednesday decision, the Jeonju District Court had refused to accept deposits for family members of one of the two deceased victims. Paperwork was missing and work was underway to refile court documents, according to the government.

A day earlier, the Gwangu District Court rejected such payment since one of the two living victims still refuse to take it. The government, however, maintains such objection cannot prevent it from using court deposits. The two victims and their representatives say they are considering filing a suit on the claim.