by WorldTribune Staff, May 9, 2017
North Korea’s state-run media called on South Koreans voting on May 9 to ban conservatives from ever taking power again as leftist candidate Moon Jae-In claimed victory at the end of the day.
“South Koreans should judge the puppet group of conservatives as accomplices” with impeached President Park Geun-Hye, Pyongyang’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper said.
Exit polls showed Moon Jae-In of the liberal Democratic Party winning over Hong Joon-Pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party and Ahn Cheol-Soo of the center-left People’s Party. Hong and Ahn have conceded defeat.
The May 8 vote was held to pick a successor to Park, who was impeached over alleged corruption charges and is now jailed after the top court upheld her parliamentary impeachment.
North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) singled out the conservative candidate who had been gaining momentum in the short campaign’s final days with the headline “Hong Joon-Pyo is human trash like a detective during the Japanese occupation”.
Moon was estimated to have won 41.4 percent of all votes, according to the exit poll conducted by three major local broadcasters – MBC, KBS and SBS. Hong received 23.3 percent of the vote and Ahn 21.8 percent.
Moon has said he would reach out to North Korea if elected.
Speaking of the outcome at his party’s Seoul headquarters, Moon called it the “victory of the people’s desperate wish for a government change. We did our utmost to help realize this aspiration of the people.”
The Moon government is expected to transform policy toward North Korea. He is known to oppose deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system on South Korean soil.
When he last served in government, in the early 2000s, South Korea had a “Sunshine Policy” championed by the late President Kim Dae-Jung which favored engagement with North Korea. That policy gave way to sanctions after North Korea tested nuclear weapons.
The son of refugees from North Korea, Moon was jailed while a student in the 1970s for leading protests against military ruler Park Chung-Hee — the father of impeached President Park Geun-Hye.
After witnessing her mother’s assassination in 1974 by a pro-North Korean gunman, Park Geun-Hye served as her father’s acting first lady until he was assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979 as leftist, pro-democracy demonstrations spread throughout the nation.
Both Parks were regularly targeted by virulent North Korean propaganda attacks.