South Korea intends to consider using the term "sex slaves" to describe women who were forced to serve in Japanese military brothels in World War II, Seoul's top diplomat said Friday.
South Korean victims have long been euphemistically called "comfort woman."
South Korea is "willing to consider" changing the wording to sex slaves, South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said in a parliamentary session.
He said South Korea can switch the wording through consultations with the victims, noting the current terminology was coined in the past by taking into account the victims' opinions.
His comment came days after South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had requested the use of the term "enforced sex slaves," not just "comfort women," in her department.
Clinton's department has neither confirmed nor denied the report.
South Korea's activist groups say thousands of Korean women were kidnapped and raped by Japanese soldiers during Japan's brutal colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945.