South Korea elects liberal president

A sign outside the compound of the North Korean embassy

If Moon wants to govern effectively and pass legislation on such issues as corporate reforms he must take into account the views on North Korea among conservative politicians and the centrist People's Party, which holds the balance of power in the National Assembly.

There are also worries that signs of disharmony between South Korea and the US on dealing with North Korea could also weaken worldwide pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.

"I had a telephone call with Liberty Korea Party candidate Hong Joon-pyo".

On the campaign trail, Moon stressed he would try to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table in an attempt to dissuade the reclusive country from furthering its nuclear program.

South Korea's newly elected President, Moon Jae-in is ready to be sworn in after a decisive election victory.

As it is, Moon is unlikely to follow through on another controversial pledge, to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the landmark economic cooperation project between the two Koreas that closed in February 2016 after Pyongyang conducted nuclear and missile tests.

Moon plans to announce major cabinet and presidential staff appointments nearly immediately to bring a swift end a power vacuum left by the removal of his predecessor, Park Geun-hye, in a corruption scandal in March.

Moon is also expected to name his nominee for prime minister, the country's No. 2 job, which needs the approval of lawmakers, and also his presidential chief of staff, later in the day.

Analysts say Moon will need to act quickly in naming key security and foreign policy aides and ministers in order to ease geopolitical tensions.

The Moon administration is expected to be powered by ordinary people who are awakened to the significance for their participation in politics.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the US joined with its ally in "celebrating their peaceful, democratic transfer of power".

Moon has criticized the two former conservative governments for failing to stop North Korea's weapons development. The composed manner in which Moon took care of Roh's funeral process earned him the nickname "Roh's Last Standing Chief of Staff".

Other challenges Moon faces include mending a society badly bruised by the corruption scandal that rocked South Korea's business and political elite.

After bowing to honour the former presidents, independence fighters and war heroes at the cemetery, Moon wrote "A country worth being proud off; a strong and reliable president!" in a visitor book.

He also visited the offices of opposition parties, seeking support in governing the country split along ideological lines and regional loyalties.

The leaders of China and Japan sent their congratulations.

Moon was born during the Korean War on January 24, 1953, to parents who had fled from North Korea to the South in December 1950.

He has expressed ambivalence over the US THAAD missile defence system, whose deployment in the South has infuriated China, and which Trump has demanded Seoul pay for.

The son of refugees who fled North Korea during the war, Moon will lead a nation shaken by the scandal that felled Park, whose criminal trial is scheduled to start later this month. Moon then served as Roh's chief of staff in the waning years of his presidency.

The exit poll of about 89,000 voters at 330 polling stations, jointly commissioned by three major television stations and released just after polls closed, showed Moon receiving 41.4 percent of the vote.

Moon frequently appeared at anti-Park rallies and the corruption scandal boosted his push to re-establish liberal rule.

Civil exchanges and interactions have also been on the rise, she said. More recently US President Donald Trump has softened his message, saying he would be "honoured" to meet the North's leader, Kim Jong-Un.

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