Moon Jae-in wins South Korea election by landslide

Moon Jae-in wins South Korea election by landslide

Moon Jae-in was poised to become South Korea's next president as exit polls showed the centre-left candidate securing a strong majority in the election which has been overshadowed by North Korea's increasing militarism. Two months after booting their si. Throughout his campaign, Moon has spoken figuratively of moving the base of power out of South Korea's version of the White House, and into those squares where protesters gathered.

(Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool Photo via AP).

Moon Jae-in, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea, poses for photographs as he watches a television report on an exit poll of the presidential election in Seoul on Tuesday. South Koreans voted Tu.

Ahn said he would "humbly accept" the result.

With former President Park, US President Donald Trump would have had a partner willing to take a hard line on Pyongyang. Two months after booting their sitting pres.

The White House is congratulating South Korea's Moon Jae-in on his election as the country's next president. He advocates a two-track policy of dialogue while maintaining pressure and sanctions to encourage change.

Many analysts say Moon likely won't pursue drastic rapprochement policies because North Korea's nuclear program has progressed significantly since he was in the Roh government a decade ago.

Moon, a former human rights lawyer, has offered tough rhetoric on North Korea. He called for reforms to reduce social inequalities, excessive presidential power and corrupt ties between politicians and business leaders.

Mr Moon (64), who stood on a platform of public sector job creation and has called for dialogue with North Korea and reform of the country's powerful family-run conglomerates, was estimated to have garnered 41.4 per cent of all votes, according to the exit poll conducted by three major local broadcasters - MBC, KBS and SBS. Centrist Ahn Cheol-soo grabbed 21.8 percent.

Moon, the child of refugees who fled North Korea during the Korean War, will lead a nation shaken by a scandal that felled his conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye, who sits in a jail cell awaiting a corruption trial later this month.

Only 22-25 percent of people in their 60s and 70s voted for Moon, exit polls showed, underscoring a long-standing generation gap.

Voting stations are set to close at 8 p.m. and South Korean TV stations plan to release the results of their joint exit polls soon after the vote ends and are expected to predict a victor before midnight.

Many conservatives worry he will revert to a former liberal governments' policy of promoting economic ties with North Korea, which they say helped fund its weapons development, while undermining the all-important alliance with Washington.

Moon was born on the southern island of Geoje in 1952 during the Korean War after his parents fled the North.

South Korea's election body says almost 64 percent of the country's 42.4 million eligible voters cast their ballots as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, representing a faster pace than the previous presidential election in 2012.

The National Election Commission's measurements on Tuesday included the 11 million who participated in last week's early voting, which was used for the first time in a presidential election.

A quarter of voters cast ballots early last week, a figure seen driven higher by the participation of younger people.

"It's a great victory by a great people", Moon told the crowd.

An NEC official projected the final voter turnout of around 80 percent, higher than the 75.8 percent of 2012.

The victor was due to be sworn in on Wednesday after the NEC releases the official result. He didn't want to be named, citing office rules.

At home, fury over economic injustice, and especially the sense that big businesses have conspired with the government to fix the rules in a way that bars many regular South Koreans from prospering, drove the huge protests that felled Park.

Both are hands-on when it comes to negotiations, with Trump mooting the idea of meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances" and Moon saying Seoul must "take the lead" in dealing with the North. He opposes a 2015 agreement with Tokyo that puts to rest the so-called "comfort women" issue.

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