March 22, 2023

Election primer: What Yoon Suk-yeol and Lee Jae-myung think about North Korea

Winner of Wednesday’s presidential election poised to shape inter-Korean policy for years to come

South Korean voters will head to the polls Wednesday to vote on who will lead the country for the next five years, with the future of Seoul’s policy toward North Korea one of many issues that hang in the balance.

While the DPRK was not a major talking point heading into the election season, frontrunners Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party and Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party have gradually devoted more attention to inter-Korean issues in the final weeks of the race, as Pyongyang’s record-setting barrage of missile tests in January and Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine have focused voters’ attention on armed conflict and national security.