Moon Jae-in becomes President of South Korea

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Moon Jae-in, at a press conference yesterday.
Image: Jeon Han.

Moon Jae-in assumed the office of President of South Korea yesterday. He was announced the winner of Tuesday's election, with 41.1% of the vote, and sworn in yesterday at the Korean National Assembly. Moon is succeeding the impeached President Park Geun-hye.

Moon has promised to unite his country, which faces tensions due to the corruption scandals of the previous president. He has also vowed to promote peace between the two Koreas. One way Moon is attempting to improve the relationship between South Korea and North Korea is by reopening the Kaesong Industrial Region, an industrial park on the Korean border jointly run by both Koreas. Moon also wishes to reform chaebol, a type of conglomerate run by powerful families. An example of a chaebol is Samsung, whose vice-chariman Lee Jae-yong was arrested for allegations of bribery under the previous president Park Guen-hye.

In more international affairs, Moon has said he is reconsidering the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) deployments of the United States, as he believes they could damage relations with China.

Moon's parents were North Korean refugees. He worked as a human rights lawyer after serving in the South Korean special forces.