June 10, 2023

North Korea hawk Yoon Suk-yeol wins South Korean presidency

Yoon swept to power on platform challenging Moon Jae-in and pledging harder line toward Pyongyang

Yoon Suk-yeol of the conservative People Power Party will become the next president of South Korea, capping a stunning rise for the political neophyte who has pledged to take a harder line toward “main enemy” North Korea, in a departure from the engagement-focused inter-Korean policy of the incumbent Moon Jae-in administration.

The former prosecutor general, who will replace the president whom he famously clashed with over prosecutorial reform, won a tightly contested election on Wednesday with 48.6% of the vote against 47.8% for primary progressive opponent Lee Jae-myung, according to South Korea’s National Election Commission. Final voter turnout was 77.1% – similar to the previous election in 2017.