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Korean ‘Comfort Woman’ Bok-dong Kim to discuss dark years as a sex slave for soldiers

Bok-dong Kim was among approximately 200,000 so-called Korean “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers before and during World War II.

 
 
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PRLog - Jul. 16, 2012 - LOS ANGELES -- Bok-dong Kim was among approximately 200,000 so-called Korean “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers before and during World War II. Now an activist seeking an apology and retribution from Japan for what they endured, she will share those struggles from her past, and her current fight, at Cal State L.A. on Thursday, July 26, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., in the Music Hall.
                                                                                   
After Kim discusses the slavery and abuse that occurred during those dark years, a short talk will be provided by the director of “The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan,” which will be followed by a Q&A session. The council was established in 1990 to resolve the issue of what happened to the Korean women during the war, and recover human rights and dignity for the victims.

Like other Korean women who suffered at the hands of their captures more than 60 years ago, Kim is among those still alive who want compensation for the abuse.

“I was born as a woman, but have never had a woman’s life. I was dragged to the foreign army’s battles, and my entire life was ruined. When I started, the Japanese military would often beat me because I wasn’t submissive,” said Kim, as reported by CNN in March during a weekly protest that has been held outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul for the past 20 years.

It was in 1941—at the age of 15—when Kim was first sent to serve as a sexual slave in “comfort stations” in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Kim continued, “Every Sunday, soldiers came to the brothel from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Saturday from noon until 5 p.m., plus weekdays. It was very hard to handle. I couldn’t stand at the end of the weekend. Since I had to deal with too many soldiers, I was physically broken.”

Kim, who was born in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, South Korea, in 1926, believes her inability to have children is the result of the sexual abuse.  

After several years of slavery, Kim was captured in 1945 by the U.S. military and became a prisoner of war. She returned to Korea a year later at the age of 20, and didn’t report her ordeal until 1992, the year she began her weekly protests in front of the Japanese embassy.

In 1993, Kim attended and testified at the “World Human Rights Conference” in Vienna, Austria, and has since testified during other events in Japan and the United States.

Last year, Kim proposed building a “Peace Monument” in front of the embassy in Seoul. This year, she founded the “Butterfly Fund,” which helps victims of ongoing sexual violence in Congo and Uganda.  

The issue of comfort women continues to create friction between Korea and Japan.

The event is sponsored by the KAFC/ Korean American Forum of California.


Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles' civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 225,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city's dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. www.calstatela.edu

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