Moon Jae-in has been declared winner in South Korea’s presidential election by that country’s National Election Commission. Moon, the Democratic Party’s candidate has won with 41.08% of votes. Moon will replace the ousted President Park Geun-hye, who was ejected from office in March after a corruption scandal for which she’s awaiting trial. Moon narrowly lost to Park in 2012 election. Park was South Korea’s first female President who has been impeached in a corruption scandal.
Moon is a 64 year old former human rights lawyer and a liberal who favors a more open policy toward North Korea. He is likely to overhaul South Korea’s policy on North Korea. Unlike his predecessors, Moon favors engagement with North Korea and has challenged the deployment of US missile defense system in South Korea. Moon is a strong proponent of the “Sunshine Policy”, which aimed to improve relations between the two Koreas from 1998 to 2008.
Moon was the son of refugees who fled North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War. In 1975, Moon was jailed for staging anti-government protests . Later, he became a human rights lawyer and defended the rights of poor laborers and student activists. In 1972, Moon became a part of a pro-democracy movement to topple the dictatorship of Park Chung-hee. Park Chung-hee ruled South Korea for 18 years. He was the father of recently ousted President Park Geun-hye.