İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO-11.05.2017 After the former president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, forced to resign regarding a corruption scandal and mass demonstrations, citizens went to ballot boxes. Liberal candidate, Moon Jae-in, won the elections and became the new president of the country. Moon won the elections with 41.1% of votes against his rivals Hong Joon-pyo and Ahn Cheol-soo.
Hestarted to make appointments as soon as he sworn. Moon named two liberal veterans who have ties to the "Sunshine Policy" of engagement with North Korea from the 2000s, to the posts of prime minister and spy chief. Also, he named Suh Hoon, a spy agency official and a veteran of inter-Korea ties, as the head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Additionally, Veteran liberal politician Lee Nak-yon who was a regional governor, nominated as the new prime minister. He was also a political ally of the two former presidents and helped them toorganize summits with the North in 2000 and 2007,Lee's appointment requires parliamentary approval.
Regardless of determining the personal cadre of the ‘’new’’ bureaucracy, Moon signaled that he willimmediately focus on the North Korean missile issue, rising tensions in the peninsula and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD)He said "I will urgently try to solve the security crisis’’. He added ‘’If needed, I will fly straight to Washington. I will go to Beijing and Tokyo and, if the conditions are right, to Pyongyang also ".
Another important issue in state politics is thedeployment of the THAAD into the country, led political problems with China which is South Korea’s main trading partner. South Korea is in a tight situation. In his inauguration ceremony, Moon said "In order to settle the THAAD problem, I will be engaged in sincere negotiations both with the United States and China ". Although, Moon questioned the deploymentbefore, it is not expected for him to make critical changes in the agreement.
Moon’s words led positive responds in two significant neighbors, China and Japan. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulated Moon. Xi said that China was willing to handle disputes with South Korea "appropriately" on the basis of mutual trust and understanding.
Moreover, Abe that he was looking forward to work with Moon to improve bilateral relations and described Seoul as one of Japan's "most important regional neighbors".