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International relations

Yoon returns to storm in South Korea after Japan breakthrough

President must overcome lack of support from public, political opposition

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife, Kim Keon-hee, at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on March 17 after the summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- After scoring a diplomatic breakthrough with Japan, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday flew back to Seoul, where he will face a disgruntled public and scathing criticism from political opponents.

The previous day, Yoon became the first South Korean leader in 12 years to hold a bilateral summit in Japan. At a post-summit joint news conference, Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida were all smiles as they announced progress toward addressing lingering bilateral issues.

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