Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on Wednesday paid a surprise visit to the House of Sharing, home to a handful of victims of the Japanese military's sexual slavery.
Meeting with six so-called "comfort women," Yun promised that the Korean government would do all it can to help heal their wounds.
"Japanese political leaders have recently said and done things to cause you even greater pain. The Korean government will put our utmost efforts to recover your honor."
The most elderly victims, who have been fighting all their lives for an official apology from the Japanese government, appealed for the minister's help in getting them much-deserved compensation.
"I want to receive an apology from Japan before I die, but I think we will die before that day comes. Please help us recover our honor."
An estimated 200-thousand women, mostly Korean, were used as sex slaves by the Japanese army in the early 20th century and many are still waiting for an apology from Tokyo.
Yun's visit comes amid worsening relations between Seoul and Tokyo which hit its peak late last year with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's controversial visit to the Yasukuni shrine, which honors a handful of Class-A war criminals.
"As the first Korean foreign minister to visit the House of Sharing, Minister Yun said that his visit was meant to show the Korean government's strong determination to protest against Japan's ongoing denial of its historical wrongdoings.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."