October 15, 2015 / 11:40 PM / 2 years ago

Park open to meeting Abe, but stresses comfort women issue

South Korea's President Park Geun-hye leaves after a bilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (not pictured) at the Pentagon in Washington October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Thursday she was open to a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but stressed the importance of progress on the issue of comfort women forced to work in Japan’s wartime military brothels.

“I do feel I can have such a meeting with him,” Park told an audience at a Washington think tank.

“But in order for such a meeting to be really significant, I think it’s important that the two countries be able to move towards a more future-oriented change in our relationship ... a meeting that does lead to progress on this (comfort women) issue can be characterized as a meaningful meeting.”

Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Sandra Maler

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