Tuesday, May 9, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: South Koreans vote for new leader

South Koreans started voting for their next leader, with the potential record turnout suggesting voters are eager to move on from the corruption scandal that brought down ousted president Park Geun-hye and shook the political and business elite.

Unless there is a major upset, Moon Jae-in will be elected president. Moon, who lost narrowly to Park in 2012, has criticised the two former conservative governments for failing to stop North Korea’s weapons development. He advocates a two-track policy of dialogue while maintaining pressure and sanctions to encourage change. Aside from calling for a moderate approach on the Korean Peninsula, he wants to reform chaebols (family-run conglomerates) and boost fiscal spending to create jobs.

Park is in jail, on trial, but denies any wrongdoing. She had decided not to cast a vote, according to reports.

The National Election Commission said voter turnout was at 59.9 percent by 1400 hours local time but it could reach the forecasted total voter turnout of over 80%, the highest since President Kim Dae-jung was elected 20 years ago, when 80.7 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

Source: Reuters

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