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South Korea Liberal Poised to Become Next President

South Korea Liberal Poised to Become Next PresidentSouth Korea Liberal Poised to Become Next President

South Korean human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in won the liberal Democratic Party primary vote on Monday, setting him on course to become the next president and perhaps take a softer line on North Korea.

Moon has been leading in opinion polls ahead of the May 9 election to succeed impeached Park Geun-hye, who was dismissed last month over a corruption scandal involving family-run conglomerates, or chaebol, Channel News Asia reported.

If elected, Moon, 64, is expected to soften South Korea's policy toward North Korea, possibly delay the deployment of a US anti-missile defense system that has enraged China and get tough on corporate criminals, including chaebol bosses.

"I will do everything I have to do to look after the failing standard of people's living, revive the economy and resurrect national security that's been riddled with holes," Moon told an enthusiastic party crowd in his acceptance speech.

In a major policy statement in March, Moon said there was no choice but to recognize Kim Jong-un as the leader of North Korea and deal with him. North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

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