The new president elected for South Korea is not likely to bring a smile to President Trump’s face.
South Koreans elected the liberal Moon Jae-in, reports The Washington Post. Moon, however, is a fan of reconnecting with North Korea. So, what does that mean for the United States currently relying on allies in South Korea?
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Leader Park of South Korea was ousted, and the votes began. Now left-leaning candidate Moon ends the nine-year reign of the conservatives in South Korea. His first vow to the country was to unify South Korea – but not with the United States. Instead, Moon wants to unify with North Korea.
More than 90 percent of the ballots have been read, says Bloomberg, and it is clear that Moon received 40.4 percent of the votes, which put him well above the conservative candidate who only carried 25 percent.
During his acceptance speech, Moon stated that he would become a president for everyone and serve those who did not support him too. He considers the win a victory for those who tried to make the country unite and use common sense.
President Park Geun-Hye, who now serves in jail for a corruption charge, was against North Korea merging with South Korea. President Park was accused of allowing a close friend to extort money from companies, but denies all wrongdoing, reports BBC. Park had been a long-standing ally of the United States in the efforts to stop nuclear testing and advancement in North Korea.
However, President Moon vows a softer approach with North Korea, including tougher action against family-run conglomerates that run the country’s fourth-biggest economy sector.
Who is Moon?
Moon is the son of refugees that fled North Korea. His father was jailed for leading protests against military leader Park Chung-hee, and he served in South Korea’s special forces before becoming a lawyer.
He was a senior aide for liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, who died by committing suicide in 2009 after leaving office on bribery allegations. Moon held an unsuccessful presidential run in 2012 against Park but now has moved into the position of the ideal candidate and leader of the country.
Moon feels that dialogue must reopen with North Korea but still believes that pressures and sanctions are necessary. Park, however, cut all ties with North Korea.
Moon has been critical of the last two administrations for not stopping nuclear war developments in North Korea. Now, with the tensions growing, South Koreans were looking for a candidate who was ready to take charge of the country and possibly stop North Korea from threatening nuclear war.
While Moon makes many promises, analysts feel that the 64-year old President is more likely to be constrained when he gets into office. He might play down the rift between the United States and North Korea, once he starts to meet with leaders and see the whole picture.
South Korea released a statement that they still have an alliance with the United States, and they do not deny the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons. However, many worry that the six-decade-long alliance between South Korea and the United States is at risk.
Analysts point out that no president can undo what 60 years of alliance agreements have done, even if he wanted to. Therefore, the United States and other countries have nothing to worry about – despite what Moon suggests.
The outcome of President Park’s 18 charges, including bribery, coercion, and extortion is still pending. South Koreans are eager to end the turmoil, especially as leaders of Japan and China meet with Trump in person while their past leader received nothing but a phone call.