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Japan-South Korea rift

Yoon's push for South Korea-Japan thaw meets hesitancy in Tokyo

History looms large over bilateral ties even as Seoul's new leader focuses on future

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, left, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup pose in Singapore on June 11. (Photo courtesy of the Japanese Ministry of Defense)

TOKYO -- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has already made big waves barely a month into office, especially when it comes to national security.

When North Korea fired eight short-range ballistic missiles into the ocean on June 5, South Korea fired eight surface-to-surface missiles together with the U.S. the very next day -- a drastic shift from Seoul's more conciliatory approach under former President Moon Jae-in.

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