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Japan-South Korea rift

South Korea's wartime labor proposal draws sharp backlash at home

Concerns rise over a repeat of failed 2015 'comfort women' deal

People demonstrate against the South Korean government's proposal to compensate former wartime laborers in Seoul March 6. (Photo by Ahn Seong-bok)

SEOUL -- The South Korean government is facing heavy pushback from critics for its proposal to resolve the wartime labor issue with Japan, signaling potential trouble similar to what derailed the 2015 "comfort women" agreement.

President Yoon Suk Yeol defended the plan to compensate former wartime workers and their families through a government-backed foundation in a cabinet meeting Tuesday.

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