Liberal politician Moon Jae-in on 10 May 2017 was sworn in as South Korea’s President in a ceremony at the National Assembly Seoul. Moon won South Korea’s presidential election in a victory that ends nearly a decade of conservative rule. The liberal’s victory will put an end to months of political disturbance that led to parliament’s questioning of conservative former President Park Geun-Hye over an extensive corruption scandal, which a court upheld in March 2017. With this, Park became the first democratically elected leader in South Korea to be removed from office. Moon immediately assumed the office of President the next day, May 10, because there is no 60-day transition period between the predecessor Park Geun-Hye and the newly elected president following the former’s impeachment.
Highlights of South Korean Presidential Election:
- Official results showed that Moon achieved a decisive victory with the highest turnout in 20 years despite the drizzly weather in South Korea.
- He won 41.1% of the votes compared with 24% for conservative candidate Hong Joon-Pyo and 21.4% for centrist candidate Ahn Cheol-soo.
- Besides ending a decade of conservative rule in South Korea, the Moon era could herald a sharp departure from recent policy towards nuclear-armed North Korea, as Moon has argued for promoting engagement with the North.
- Moon promised to fix inter-Korean relations, proposing measured engagement with the Kim regime.
- He has also suggested that the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea should be put under review.
About Moon Jae-in
- Born on 24 January 1953, Moon Jae-in is the 12th and current President of South Korea.
- He is also a former human rights attorney.
- He was also former chief-of-staff to the late President Roh Moo-hyun.
- He served as the opposition leader of the Minjoo Party of Korea from 2015 to 2016.
- Before that, he was the Democratic United Party’s candidate for the 2012 presidential election.