S. Korea's 'comfort women' face life's end

Lee Ok-sun is one of the surviving South Korean "comfort women", who were forced into Japanese brothels in World World Two.

Fighting disease, death and disillusionment, this group of women say they are facing the twilight of their lives.

They have lobbied for compensation and apologies from the Japanese government for years.

But they say the will to wage political battles is dying down.

Lee is 91 and has been bedridden for years, she was forcibly taken to the brothels aged 16.

"I just wish I could live in peace for one single day."

Only 14 of the 240 registered survivors are still alive in South Korea.

Some historians estimate up to 200,000 Korean girls and women were forced to provide sex to Japanese troops during the colonial era, sometimes under the pretext of employment or to pay off a relative's debt.

After over eight decades, Kang Il-chul still fights back tears when she remembers her past.

"They treated Koreans worse than a dog. They kicked and beat me up. There are still scars here."

The issue of comfort women has been a fixture of South Korean politics and diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo since 1991 when Kim Hak-sun first came forward to publicly testify of her experience.

Under a 2015 deal Tokyo issued an official apology and provided $9.3 million to a fund that helps comfort women victims, with both sides promising to "irreversibly" end the dispute.

But South Korea effectively backed out of the deal after some victims said they had been overlooked.

One major organization that advocated for the women was brought down by a corruption scandal last year and in April, a South Korean court dismissed a case some of the women brought against Tokyo.

But for prominent activist and victim 92-year-old Lee Yong-soo, the fight is not over.

"I am determined not to die before I resolve this. I need to be alive as much as 200 years to resolve this."

Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

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