Thursday, 18 October, 2018

South Korea exit polls see win for liberal Moon

Frank Williams | 10 May, 2017, 00:07

He cast his vote in Seoul on Tuesday and told reporters later, "I gave all my body and soul (to the election) to the very end".

Park is in jail, on trial, but denies any wrongdoing.

These days Moon Jae-in often greets more like a South Korean pop idol than a 64-year-old former human rights lawyer.

Some analysts say North Korea has toned down its provocations toward the South ahead of the election to avoid emboldening the country's hard-liners.

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). South Korean presidential candidate Hong Joon-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party shakes hands with his supporters during an election campaign in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 8, 2017.

The North has carried out two nuclear tests and a series of missile launches since the start of past year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the U.S. mainland.

Mr Moon has advocated greater dialogue with the North while maintaining pressure and sanctions, in contrast to Ms Park who cut nearly all ties.

If Moon's win is confirmed, he is expected to overhaul Seoul's policy on North Korea, looking to open talks with Pyongyang and challenge the deployment of a controversial USA missile defense system.

Moon had a relatively low share of the total vote - 41.4 percent according to an exit poll - but there were many more major candidates than in 2012, when Park won 51.5 percent, beating Moon by about a million votes.

The new president of South Korea will take office on May 10, immediately after the confirmation of the results by the NEC. Most candidates, including Moon and Ahn, plan to skip a lavish inauguration ceremony if successful and start their new job right away.

"Moon has been criticized for running his own "clique", so in order to get over that negative image, he'll seek cooperation to avoid rifts and conflicts", Kim said.

ACB registers three FIRs against Kejriwal's deceased kin, others
Bansal obtained contracts in 2015-16 for works, which never got executed, while all the payments have been cleared, it said. While one FIR has been filed against Kejriwal's relative Surender Bansal, two other FIRs are in the name of two companies.

"What are a few bruises?" he said.

Polls close at 20:00 local time (11:00 GMT), with the victor expected to be announced soon after.

Said 24-year-old voter Chung Yu Jin: "This election wouldn't have taken place if there weren't people who took to the streets every weekend last winter".

A decisive win by Moon will provide much-needed stability and is expected to improve market sentiment at a time when robust exports have supported a recovery in Asia's fourth-largest economy. He has now positioned himself as an alternative to Mr Moon, promising to be tougher on national security.

The election is being closely watched overseas at a time of high tension with North Korea, which is believed to be preparing for a sixth nuclear test and has vowed to test an intercontinental missile. Pyongyang carried out a fifth test in September and is believed ready for another.

As policy in South Korea looks like shifting, many sceptics remain who think that no amount of talking to Kim Jong-un will persuade him to renounce either his despotic power or his nuclear ambitions. He has stopped short of overtly criticising Trump's aggressive tone during the most recent crisis on the Korean peninsula, and has declared that he and the United States president are "on the same page" in regarding the Obama administration's policy of "strategic patience" as a failure.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference the relationship between South Korea and Japan would develop regardless of who became president.

Despite the global focus on North Korea, the biggest priorities for South Koreans are the economy and corruption.

A Moon Jae-in presidency would represent a real shift in attitude towards North Korea. Its official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said on Tuesday conservative rule in the South should be "buried in the grave of history".

"To do so, the puppet conservative group's move to remain in power should be definitely crushed".

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