Next South Korean President

Next South Korean President

On the 3rd of April 2017, the Democratic Party of South Korea which is the opposition party...

Is Moon Jae-in destined to be the premier of the nation?

On the 3rd of April 2017, the Democratic Party of South Korea which is the opposition party in the nation held elections to decide who would be their presidential candidate.

The victor was Moon Jae-in who is widely seen as the odds-on favorite to be the next president of the country.

He won 57% of the votes in all the primaries with the last one being contested on Monday.

Who is Moon Jae-in?

Moon Jae-in was elected leader of the opposition party in parliament and spearheaded them from 2015-2016. He also unsuccessfully stood for elections to be President in 2012 but lost to Park Geun-Hye.

Whilst a student in Kyung Hee University, he was arrested for protesting Park Geun-Hye's father Park Chung-Hee and also vehemently opposed the military dictatorship that followed.

He was a social rights activist and lawyer based out of Busan. When in Busan, he formed a partnership with former President Roh Moo-hyun and jointly ran a law firm till his ascendency to President. Hyun appointed Moon Jae-in as his chief of staff and became one of his top advisors from 2003-2008.

He left politics after Hyun stepped down but returned to the arena in 2012 and quickly won the approval of the politicians of his party. He currently heads the Democratic party of Korea and is likely to be the next president.

What would a Moon Jae-in presidency look like?

In his victory speech following, Moon promised to eradicate all the corruption and iniquity that has ravaged the country since last year. He would revise the policies of the former President Park Geun-Hye. He is perceived as a break from the conservative policies of the past nine years that has led to dissatisfaction amongst the people.

A true civic reformer, he plans to go after the ‘Chaebol’s’ dominance in the economic scheme, investigate further into accusations of bribery & corruption amongst the ruling elite and establish a more transparent governance while breaking up the link between big business and government.

He is adamant that the former presidency did not take the right stance with North Korea and will look to improve dialogue between the two nations and decrease sanctions to allow the nations to improve relations. He is seen by many Japanese media outlets as a hardliner for his outspoken views on the lopsided deal Japan proposed to South Korea over the comfort women in 2015 and the islets of Takeshima.

Assessment

Moon Jae-in still has to win the elections which are set to take place on April 14th. His main rival is leader of the People’s party Ahn Cheol-soo who has 22% of the vote bank. But it is likely that Moon will succeed in his ascent to the premiership. South Korea is in disarray and Moon will likely lead them to unearth the root cause of the corruption and to get on better terms with North Korea. Both are necessary to return the country to stable state.

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