Yonhap News Agency reported Monday, citing a South Korean government source, that Seoul will not demand the deal be renegotiated or totally scrapped, but will urge Tokyo to take certain actions to win greater Korean public acceptance. However, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono stated on December 27 that South Korea-Japan relations will become impossible to manage if the South Korean government tries to "alter the agreement".
"President Moon Jae-in's apology for the secret deal by the dogmatic former Park Geun-hye administration and the foreign ministry's prompt measures are only for the victims and our citizens", Back Hye-ryun, the party's spokeswoman, said in a written press briefing.
"While the administration has changed", Kono responded Tuesday, "responsibly implementing" the pact remains a matter of "universal worldwide principle". The Games are to be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in had pledged to renegotiate the terms of the deal with Japan, which firmly said the agreement can not be amended.
South Korea intends to replace that 1 billion yen with its own funds and discuss with Tokyo what to do with Japan's contribution, Kang said Tuesday. However, Seoul pressed Tokyo to be more honest towards the victims, saying the controversial deal does not solve the problem.
The foreign ministry said the two discussed the upcoming inter-Korean talks.
In 2015, when there were 47, 36 accepted the settlement, a the official said.
There are 31 surviving women registered with the government, a foreign ministry official said. "In consideration of such, our government will not call for a renegotiation of the agreement".
South Korea failed to remove a statue commemorating comfort women from in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul after agreeing to "solve" that issue "in an appropriate manner". Seoul also supported a bid past year to add documents related to comfort women to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.
The comfort women issue has been a regular cause for contention between Japan and neighbours China and North and South Korea since the war.
But Moon's claim that the issue remains unresolved could still be a stumbling block. This suspicion deepens the determination of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga to give no ground on the 2015 deal.
He suggested that Japan will file a protest through diplomatic channels in Tokyo and Seoul.