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Former Korean 'comfort women' for US troops sue own government

Published on Jul 11, 2014 7:59 PM
 
Cho Myung-ja ran away from home as a teenager to escape a father who beat her, finding her way to the red light district in a South Korean town that hosts a large US Army garrison. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

YEONGTAEK (REUTERS) - Cho Myung-ja ran away from home as a teenager to escape a father who beat her, finding her way to the red light district in a South Korean town that hosts a large US Army garrison.

After she escaped home in the early 1960s, her pimp sold her to one of the brothels allowed by the government to serve American soldiers.

"It was a hard life and we got sick," Cho, 76, said in an interview in her cluttered room in a shack outside Camp Humphreys, a busy US military garrison in the town of Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul.

On June 25, sixty-four years after the Korean War broke out, Cho joined 122 surviving comfort women, as they were called, in a lawsuit against their government to reclaim, they say, human dignity and proper compensation.

 
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