North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Sunday. (KCNA-Yonhap)
North Korea's official newspaper on Tuesday demanded Tokyo apologize for its colonial-era atrocities and compensate victims, as it marked the 115th anniversary of the signing of a treaty that led to Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
The treaty, which was signed on Nov. 17, 1905, deprived the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) of its diplomatic sovereignty and made the country a protectorate of imperial Japan. Japan has been criticized for various atrocities during the period, including forced labor and front-line sexual slavery.
"Imperial Japan used every possible way to completely destroy the Korean people in the past ... It forced some 8.4 million Korean adults into its invasion war and made them serve as cannon fodder and victimized them with slavery-like labor," the Rodong Sinmun, the official paper of the North's ruling party, said.
"Japan is our outrageous sworn enemy that not only occupied our country like a gangster and colonized it but also tried to exterminate the Korean people," the paper added. "Our people will never forget imperial Japan's past wrongdoings and make it pay the cost without fail."
The paper also criticized the Japanese leaders for being unwilling to acknowledge its colonial-era atrocities even until today, saying that such an attitude will only deepen its people's hatred and animosity against Japan "one hundred or one thousand times more." (Yonhap)