Or so say’s Kim Tae-hyo, former adviser to Lee Myung Bak in an interview with an Asahi Shimbun correspondent.
Kim is quoted to say:
The December 2011 summit in Kyoto between President Lee and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda devolved into a long, bitter argument over the comfort women issue. This is the final and most serious historical dispute between Japan and South Korea.
After the summit, Tokyo worked hard to try to resolve it during Lee’s presidency, and both sides engaged in sincere dialogue. The goal of the talks boiled down to having the Japanese prime minister express his heartfelt apology to the former comfort women–now advanced in years–and Japan paying them compensation.
Actually, Tokyo and Seoul almost reached an agreement, although few Japanese know about this. Outside the regular diplomatic channel, I had special contacts with top Japanese government officials, and we were on the verge of striking a compromise on almost all points.
Really? Well, that’s news to me. Kim goes on to talk about his thoughts on the joint security intelligence sharing agreement between Japan and Korea that was also nixed last year. Anyway, interesting read. However, I am not sure if anyone with either the Lee or Noda administrations will confirm (or deny) what Kim is saying.