The election questioned South Korea’s expansion into Pyongyang
The future of South Korea seek to approach Pyongyang has been challenged by a nuclear-armed party after the ruling party suffered a landslide defeat in mayoral elections in two major cities.
Voters in the capital, Seoul and the southern port of Busan, gave comfortable victories to candidates from the opposition Conservative People Power party on Wednesday, striking the president Moon Jae-ina progressive Democratic party ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Analysts said mayoral races were mostly fought over domestic issues, among others property speculation scandals the participation of senior officials increased national anger over the rapid rise in house prices.
The polls were not taken by the Moon to help protect North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. But they have created uncertainty in the direction of Seoul’s foreign policy.
June Park, a political economist at George Washington University in Seoul, said the political situation is “worrying” with a lack of charismatic presidential candidates and a direction that is not clear on issues such as relations. North Korea, China and the USA.
“South Korea is in a very challenging environment, but the thought that there is no strong candidate worries many citizens about the future,” he says.
South Korea is widely divided along the political lines. Progressives have traditionally fostered commitment to North Korea and close ties with China close US ally, The heart of the Asian technology supply chain, Washington is under increasing pressure to join regional and multilateral initiatives aimed at tackling China’s rise, analysts said.
There are questions about South Korea’s approach to North Korea nuclear dialogue Stop between Pyongyang and Washington and the administration of President Joe Biden Reviewing US policy about the nuclear state.
Moon, who is currently serving a single five-year term, chaired a number of international summits with Pyongyang after taking office in 2017. His government has called on the international community to ease sanctions and strengthen support for North Korea severe decline in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic that has further isolated their country.
But so did Kim cut off the commitment to the Moon, An effort to pressure the South Korean president to offer bigger concessions.
The victories of former mayor Oh Se-hoon in Seoul and Park Hyung-jun in Busan were seen as the first sign of a resurgence of opposition groups ’political fortunes. They are mostly fallen Park Geun-hye – was the president removed from office and later for prisoner corruption.
John Delury, an Asian expert at Yonsei University in Seoul, believed, however, that it would not be a “radical turn” if the Conservatives returned to power next year if most South Koreans generally supported it. Creating close ties with North Korea.
“Will the Conservatives come up with an approach to confront North Korea? I don’t think that’s very popular, ”he said.
However, the election results were dramatic changes a year ago when the Democratic party won its first legislative majority in 16 years behind the public approval of the Moon government. handling the coronavirus pandemic. Beyond the celebrity mayor races on Wednesday, People Power won 13 of the other 13 positions against 13 opponents.
Partial elections for mayor were necessary because Park Won-soon, a long-time former mayor of Seoul and once a first-round presidential candidate, he committed suicide he resigned after allegations of sexual assault by an employee and former mayor Oh Keo-don Busan after he complained of sexual misconduct. And during the campaign several candidates received criticism from LGBT + rights groups for their answers to questions about gay rights.