During his recent visit to Washington, D.C., South Korean President Moon Jae-in made a stop at the Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance at Arlington Cemetery, where he expressed his respect for the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers, and emphasized his country’s firm commitment to its alliance with the United States.

But not too far away, just 20 miles to the west in Fairfax, Virginia, another memorial installed by Korean activists expresses quite a different view of the military. The Comfort Women Memorial Peace Garden was first unveiled in 2014 and is said to be dedicated to the women who worked in frontline brothels and suffered terribly during and after World War II.

These memorials, of which there are more than a dozen in the U.S., are usually seen as a politically charged insult toward Japan, a volatile third-rail issue causing major problems in relations between Seoul-Tokyo. From Japan’s perspective, they believe the stories promoted by the Korean activists are exaggerated or forged, and that the issue was resolved years ago with multiple official apologies, payments made to victims, and a highly-touted agreement signed in 2015. So why do the activists continue building the memorials in the U.S., if in fact that the U.S. had nothing to do with the establishment of comfort stations?

The answer to that question is now becoming more apparent. There have recently been indications that the comfort women lobby is now turning its attention toward attacking the U.S. military, baselessly accusing U.S. soldiers of assorted war crimes, and thus potentially converting these memorials just 20 miles from Arlington into an aggressive expression of anti-American propaganda.

According to a recent report published by Foreign Policy, a member of the powerful lobby group known as the Korean Council – a charity which receives funding from the South Korean government – recently sent an email statement threatening the U.S. government and demanding that they fall in line because of their own “damning legacy” with “U.S. military comfort women.”

Other activists have become much more direct in attacking the honor of U.S. veterans who were stationed in South Korea after the war, accusing them without evidence of human trafficking, rape, and enslavement in the “camptown” communities, and demanding justice, apologies, and payments.

In a book published last year by the Korean Council called the “A to Z Guide,” the authors write: “After the end of World War II, the U.S. military continued to use the Japanese military sexual slavery system or set up new comfort stations in Japan and Korea.”

However the citation used by the authors to support that statement in fact contains absolutely no mention of “sexual slavery” by U.S. military. Instead, the cited article detailed the growth of legal prostitution as a profession in these areas postwar South Korea, where services were bought and paid for by consenting adults – which is of course ugly and unflattering, but a far cry from the claims of indentured labor.

Herein lies the core problem. The version of history promoted by the comfort women lobby is absolutist – they believe that not a single Korean woman would have willingly entered the prostitution profession with intention, despite the plunging levels of poverty and desperation in the country at the time. Instead, they claim some 200,000 women – a vastly exaggerated figure by any measure – were deceived, kidnapped, and held against their will and forced to work in brothels. It’s not hard to understand how attractive this narrative would be to nationalists, eager to protect honor by way of victimhood.

The only problem with that version of history is that it’s simply not true. The fact that many comfort women during this period of time were professional consenting sex workers being paid agreed and negotiated rates was documented in the well-known the 1944 Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49 contained in U.S. government archives.

But to contest the issue of coercion or contractual transactions is heresy to the comfort women activists. One need not look further than the incident of Harvard Law Professor J. Mark Ramseyer, who published a minor journal article examining the contracts paid to comfort women during the war. The extraordinary backlash and ferocious cancel campaign has unfairly threatened his reputation, his career, and even his personal safety.

Most likely, the truth of what happened with wartime prostitution would not be satisfying to nationalists in either South Korea or Japan. There were likely some women who were forced to work against their will, and there was also likely participation by Korean brothel recruiters. There were likely many volunteers who entered the profession out of financial necessity and were compensated, and there may have been cases of desperate fathers “selling” their daughters into the profession. Nobody denies the tremendous human suffering that took place. But it is unreasonable to expect any form of absolution will come from apologies or compensation paid.  The experience of war does not provide such neat and tidy endings.

But this turn toward anti-American sentiment in South Korea is very alarming for numerous reasons. It is also not difficult to see how many outside parties, such as China and North Korea, are eager to destroy the trilateral alliance and weaken U.S. interests in the region (in fact, the comfort women movement maintains very close ties with North Korean interests).

President Moon Jae-in has a responsibility to put a stop to these defamatory accusations against the U.S. military, and halt his government’s funding of organizations which seek to perpetuate false and exaggerated versions of history aimed at damaging relations. We will not have our children walking by “memorials” in our local parks falsely accusing our soldiers of sexual abuse which did not take place. This dishonorable and dishonest sort of conduct has no place among true allies.

Robert Carmona-Borjas is a human rights attorney, a former Professor at American University and serves as the Founder and CEO of the Arcadia Foundation, a 501 C3 nonprofit organization dedicated to curbing corruption in developing markets. The views expressed are his own.