Korea set for five-way presidential race as parties settle on nominees

Moon Jae-win's nomination today as the Democratic Party's candidate boosts his status as front-runner in the May 9 election, which was triggered after Park was removed from office last month over corruption allegations.

Frontrunner Moon Jae-in on Monday easily clinched the nomination as the Minjoo Party's presidential candidate.

Park's detention last Friday came after her parliamentary impeachment was upheld by the Constitutional Court, paving the way for her to face more than a dozen charges - including bribery and abuse of power.


A Moon victory could have significant implications for the region given his pro-cooperation stance on North Korea, with whom ties soured nearly irreparably under Park. "We need a president who can accomplish strong and robust national security", Ahn said in his acceptance speech.

Meanwhile, the conservative interim government led by acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn is pushing to wrap up the deployment of an American THAAD missile defense battery before the election amid calls from liberal circles to delay the plan, which has been strongly criticized by North Korea along with China and Russian Federation.

Moon didn't touch upon North Korea. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.


The former aide to the late liberal president Roh Moo Hyun has held the top spot in opinion polls since late a year ago, scoring an approval rating of 34.9 per cent in the latest Realmeter poll released yesterday. Roh's cooperation projects with North Korea were suspended by his conservative successors including Park, who pushed for a tougher response to North Korea's nuclear program. No serious attempt to launch a joint anti-Moon front has yet occurred. Nearly all other recent surveys have shown Moon enjoying comfortable leads in both multi-candidate and two-way polls against any of his competitors.

The People's Party, which was created by defectors from the Democratic Party, is set to announce its nominee on Tuesday, as Ahn Cheol-soo emerges as a possibly formidable opponent to Moon.



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