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Elections question South Korea’s approach to Pyongyang

Korea’s future Pursuit of reconciliation Nuclear-armed Pyongyang was questioned after the ruling party suffered a spectacular defeat in the mayor’s by-elections in the two largest cities.

Voters in the capital Seoul and southern Busan handed a comfortable victory to opposition conservative People Power Party candidates on Wednesday. Moon Jae-inA progressive Democratic Party ahead of next year’s presidential election.

Analysts said the mayor’s race was fought primarily on domestic issues Real estate speculation scandal It involved senior officials who deepened public anger at the surge in house prices.

Polls were not considered to support the moon’s overture to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. However, they are raising uncertainty about the direction of Seoul’s foreign policy.

June Park, a Seoul-based political economist at Dean of George Washington University, said the political situation was “confused.” She lacks charismatic presidential candidates, North Korea, China and the United States.

“Korea is in a very difficult environment, but many citizens are very worried about the future, given that there may not be strong candidates,” she added.

South Korea is deeply divided along the political line. Progressive has traditionally endorsed its involvement with North Korea and its closer relationship with China.However Close US allies,so The heart of Asia’s technology supply chainAnalysts also said Washington was under pressure to participate in regional and multilateral initiatives aimed at countering the rise of China.

Uncertainty about South Korea’s approach to North Korea is at the same time deadlocked Nuclear negotiations Between Pyongyang and Washington, and between the Biden administration US policy review About the nuclear state.

Mr. Moon, who serves as president for five years, has spearheaded international summit talks with Pyongyang after taking office in 2017. His government has urged the international community to ease sanctions and strengthen aid to North Koreans suffering from North Korea. Serious depression In the coronavirus pandemic that further isolated their country.

But Kim also Cut engagement with the moon To pressure the South Korean president to offer greater concessions.

The victory of former mayor Oh Se-hoon of Seoul and Park Hyun-jun of Busan was seen as the first sign of a resurgence of the opposition’s political fate.They have declined since most collapses Park Geun-hyeWas the president Exiled from the office I was imprisoned for corruption.

However, Asian expert John Delury of Yonsei University in Seoul said that most Koreans generally support it, so if the right-wing party returns to power next year, there will be a “radical shift.” I don’t think. Build a close relationship with North Korea..

“Will conservatives take a confrontational approach to North Korea? I don’t think it’s very popular,” he said.

Nonetheless, the election results were a remarkable turnaround from a year ago, when the Democratic Party of Japan announced its support for the lunar government and rushed into the majority of the legislature for the first time in 16 years. Handling of coronavirus pandemic.. Beyond the two famous mayor races on Wednesday, People Power won 13 of the 19 other local posts contested.

The campaign has also brought the spotlight back to the South Korean struggle. Women’s rights And Homophobia..

The mayor’s by-election was named after Park Won-soon, who was once the mayor of Seoul and once supported the president’s front runner. suicide After allegations of sexual assault from staff surfaced. Former Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don has resigned on suspicion of sexual misconduct.

During the campaign, several candidates gathered criticism from the LGBT + rights group for answering questions about gay rights.

Elections question South Korea’s approach to Pyongyang

Source link Elections question South Korea’s approach to Pyongyang

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