As the sounds of his supporters’ cheers filled Seoul’s air, celebrating a projected landslide victory in South Korea’s presidential election, Moon Jae-in stepped out at the election headquarters, he said, “Today is the day to open a door for a new Republic of Korea.”
election with 41% of the vote in favour of Moon, candidate for the liberal Democratic Party. Hong Jun-pyo, of Park’s conservative Saenuri Party, was behind with 24%, leaving centralist People’s Party candidate Ahn Cheol-soo in third place on 21.4%. Turnout was high in the nation of 50 million despite persistent drizzle.
Moon’s terms begin from Wednesday and his foremost focus will be the fragile relations with North Korea, China and United States. Moon, 64, has humble origins, being born in Geoje, a small island off South Korea’s south coast, to refugees who had fled war in North Korea. Moon later embarked his political career as he became a human rights lawyer and worked with Roh Moo-hyun, who in 2003 took office as South Korean president. Roh then appointed Moon as his secretariat, giving Moon his first experience in governance.
The celebrations in Moon camp will be brief as his term starts from today and Moon will have to contend with North Korea’s nuclear tests, the United States’ unambiguous policies with the country, frictions with China and the immediate reforms in South Korea. The liberalist’s ‘warmer’ policies towards North Korea may jeopardize the economic relations with US. Amidst the rising tension about the Pyongyang nuclear tension and while dealing with leaders like Trump and Kim, Moon’s new job is no piece of cake but felicitations to Moon Jae-in, the new President of Republic of South Korea. May he do good to the Korean peninsula.