Moon Jae In has won the presidential election in South Korea held on May 9. His win is a dramatic reversal after his loss, in 2012, to the now disgraced former President President Park Geun Hye. 

President Park Geun Hye was impeached on December 9, 2016 by the National Assembly, and she was forced out of office when the impeachment was upheld by the Constitutional Court on March 10, 2017, ending her presidency that began in 2013.

The May 9 election is a special election to fill the opening left by the impeached former president, and Moon Jae In will take office immediately, without waiting for the customary two-month transition period.

Here is a brief summary of who Moon Jae In is and the extraordinary life he has led:

  • The 64-year old new South Korean President is the son of refugees from North Korea. 
  • He is married, with two children.
  • He served in South Korea's Special Forces during the 1970s.
  • He was a human rights and civil rights lawyer before entering politics.
  • He served as the Chief of Staff for late President Roh Moo Hyun.
  • He campaigned as a liberal candidate for the Democratic Party.
  • He has promised to limit the influence in politics by the "chaebols," or the powerful family-run conglomerates.
  • In contrast to the conservative polices by former President Park Geun Hye, Moon Jae In is expected to be more pragmatic and conciliatory toward North Korea. 
  • In addition to ongoing tension with North Korea, he also faces pressing economic issues such as high unemployment rates among the under-30-year-olds.

Moon Jae In once said that he hoped to see the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas, and he would take his mother to visit her birthplace.

Congratulations to President-elect Moon Jae In, and we extend the best wishes to South Korea and its great people. 

Source via 12

Cover image via 1

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