South Korea plans to unveil next week the result of its five-month review of a controversial agreement with Tokyo aimed at settling the dispute over Japan's wartime sexual slavery.
A task force set up to assess the December 2015 agreement will submit their report on Dec. 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
With the deal the two countries agreed to put an end to the dispute and Japan pledged to contribute 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to a South Korean foundation dedicated to supporting the victims.
But it has been criticized in South Korea for lacking a consensus from the victims and Japan's recognition of its legal responsibility for their forced mobilization.
President Moon Jae-in has pledged to revisit the deal, saying South Koreans can't accept it emotionally.
The probe result may likely point out that the deal does not properly reflect the voice of the victims and its terms and wording are inappropriate.
Based on the outcome, the Moon government is likely to announce its own decision on the agreement later, possibly after the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics set for February.
The developments are likely to put Seoul and Tokyo on a tightrope, as Japan has repeatedly called for Seoul's compliance with the deal.
The team operates directly under Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and is headed by Oh Tai-kyu, a former progressive journalist who advised Moon on social issues as part of a presidential advisory group. It includes eight other experts on diplomacy, human rights and international law, as well as ministry officials.
Up to 200,000 Asian women, mostly from Korea, are believed to have been forced into sexual servitude for the imperialist Japanese troops during World War II. (Yonhap)