Celebrations have broken out in Seoul and the rest of South Korea. Moon Jae-in has won a landslide victory in the highly publicized elections in one of the most industrialized nations in Asia.
World’s twelfth largest economy is facing one of the worst crises in recent months. The probability of war breaking out in the Korean peninsula was never so high as it is right now. The region is on the brink of war with the US deploying aircraft carrier and anti-missile batteries to deter any misadventure from the North Korean side.
Despite Korea being the base of many top of the line multinational companies, it is a country that has suffered badly due to corruption. The exit of the last President following corruption charges and the subsequent impeachment show that the nation is steeped in corruption.
The 64-year old Moon has served as the opposition leader of the Minjoo Party of Korea from 2015 to 2016 and a member of the 19th National Assembly. He had fought 2012 presidential election on United Party after winning a majority in the party primaries, but lost the election to Park Geun-hye. He was a former lawyer and chief of staff to late President Roh Moo-hyun prior to his entrance into politics.
The President elect comes from rather very humble background. Moon was born on Geoje, a small island off South Korea’s south coast, to refugees who had fled war in North Korea. Despite living in poverty as a child, he excelled in school and earned a spot at a university in Seoul in the 1970s, where he majored in law.
After completing his education, Moon became a human rights lawyer, working with Roh Moo-hyun, who in 2003 took office as South Korean president. He was appointed to Roh’s secretariat.
His conciliatory approach has come into sharp criticism by his conservative opponents. Much of the Western media coverage of South Korea’s election has honed in on how Moon might handle relations with the Donald Trump administration in the US, and how he will address North Korea’s growing arsenal of missiles and nuclear weapons.
He has also promised, despite, all the challenges to breathe life into South Korea’s frozen relations with the North, saying he supports holding direct talks and restarting economic cooperation projects. He is married to Kim Jeong-suk and the two have two children together. His baptized name is Timothy.