Moon's rise to power in South Korea causes worries, hopes abroad

As a liberal candidate, Moon had raised concerns about his views on security issues as he opposed to the deployment of the US missile shield and promised engagement policy towards North Korea that has fast advanced nuclear and missile weapons program and carried out a series of provocations this year.

Liberal politician Moon Jae-in won South Korea's presidential election yesterday, an exit poll showed, an expected victory that would end almost a decade of conservative rule and bring a more conciliatory approach toward North Korea.

Mr Moon was sworn in as South Korea's 19th president at the National Assembly building in Seoul, filling a leadership vacuum in the wake of Park Geun-hye's removal.

Beijing says the system threatens China's own security because its radar system is able to peer deep into the country's northeast and monitor its flights and missile launches. I will go to Beijing and I will go to Tokyo. Moon visited the national cemetery where he honored the country's former presidents, indep.

In a speech at the National Assembly hours after being declared the victor of Tuesday's election, Moon pledged to work for peace on the Korean Peninsula amid growing worry over the North's expanding nuclear weapons and missiles program.

The erection of another statue symbolizing comfort women by a South Korean civic group outside the Japanese Consulate General in the port city of Busan last December led Japan to recall its ambassador to South Korea for three months.

Moon was chief of staff for the last liberal president, the late Roh Moo-hyun, who sought closer ties with North Korea by setting up large-scale aid shipments to the North and by working on now-stalled joint economic projects.

"It is crucial to fill up the posts of key presidential secretaries as soon as possible", said Moon's aides, suggesting that Cheong Wa Dae's secretariat nomination will soon follow as well.

The constitutional court upheld the impeachment in March, making Park the first democratically-elected leader in South Korea to be removed from office and triggering a snap election to choose her successor.

The president-elect has complained that too much attention is being paid to what others - primarily the U.S., Japan and China - want from the two Koreas. But challenging Washington over THAAD might be hard for Moon.

North Korea is likely to welcome Moon's election but its state media made no mention of his victory on Wednesday.

It also shows that Moon now has a very important task to perform, most importantly to work for social cohesion to overcome deep divisions and polarization in the country.

Moon will still serve out the typical single five-year term.

The election body had finished counting votes as of 6 a.m. and said Moon gathered 41 percent of the votes, comfortably edging conservative Hong Joon-pyo and centrist Ahn Cheol-soo, who gathered 24 percent and 21 percent of the votes, respectively.

Hong, the conservative, is an outspoken former provincial governor who pitched himself as a "strongman", described the election as a war between ideologies and questioned Moon's patriotism.

On MBC, Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party - the presumptive victor of Tuesday's race - zoomed past People's Party candidate Ahn Cheol-soo to take the vote in Seoul.

Moon, who lost the 2012 election to Park by a million votes, frequently appeared at anti-Park rallies and the corruption scandal boosted his push to re-establish liberal rule. The Trump administration has swung between threats and praise for North Korea's leader. Frustration over widening inequality in wealth and opportunities fueled anger over Park's scandal, which exposed the cozy and corrupt ties between regulators and powerful family-oriented conglomerates, known as chaebols, that have endured for decades. It's highly unlikely that Moon will pursue the same level of rapprochement that past liberal governments took.

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