Marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights in 1948, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha delivered her keynote speech on Monday to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
Among the issues she raised, was the unresolved issue of Japan's sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War 2.
While she did not name Japan directly, Kang called for a "victim-centered approach" to the issue, adding that the victims, now women in their 80s and 90s, were "still striving to restore their dignity and honor".
Japan formally complained about the keynote speech, warning that it should not be allowed to harm bilateral relations at a critical time in east Asia.
Junichi Ihara, Japan's ambassador to the UN in Geneva added that Kang's statement was totally unacceptable.
Highlighting the message of "peace and prosperity" the PyeongChang Winter Olympics has sent out to the world, Kang also called on the North Korean regime to improve the human rights of its people, adding that the isolated state must heed the call of the international community and abandon its nuclear and missile programs.
"It is imperative to ensure that the spirit of Pyeongchang lives long after the games, so that peace can take firm root on the Korean peninsula and the dire human rights situation in the North can be improved."
Kang also threw her support behind the so-called "MeToo" movement in South Korea and the world, pledging the South Korean government's commitment to improve gender equality, protecting women's rights and abolishing wartime violence against women.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.