Seoul, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s conservative former top prosecutor, who has called for a stronger US security guarantee to neutralize North Korean nuclear threats, on Friday named the main opposition party for next March’s presidential election. Won nomination.
Recent opinion polls have shown Eun Suk Yeol to be locked in a tight race with the moderate ruling party’s candidate Lee Jae-myung, who has called for a policy of appeasement on North Korea and practical diplomacy between Washington and Beijing. Have sworn.
The close race between the two candidates in South Korea will likely increase serious domestic polarization while facing North Korea’s growing nuclear threats, an intense US-China rivalry and various economic woes.
Yun’s victory could prompt South Korea to take steps to strengthen its military alliance with the United States, while its relations with North Korea and China could sour. If elected, Lee would push for greater ties with North Korea, but he may not be able to persuade the country to give up its nuclear program, possibly due to his party ally and current President Moon Jae-in. may share the inheritance, whose single five-year term ends in May.
At the opposition People’s Power Party convention on Friday, party officials announced that Yun won 47.8% of the votes cast by party members and ordinary citizens, 41.5% over his main rival Hong Joon-pyo and two other contestants. defeated by
“The government must be very frightened and feel bitter pain about my victory in the party primary,” Yoon said in an acceptance speech. “I will certainly achieve a change of power … I will certainly rebuild a new Republic of Korea.”
Yoon, 60, has spent much of his professional career as a prosecutor but is a novice in party politics.
He was also previously Moon’s prosecutor general, leading the president’s controversial anti-corruption campaign that focused largely on conservatives, including alliances with the People Power Party. But Yoon was later embroiled in a high-profile political conflict with Moon allies, as some of his investigations targeted Moon allies.
Moon’s supporters argued that Yoon’s investigation was politically motivated to elevate his own political position or to impede Moon’s push to reform the prosecution. Yoon denied such views, saying that his investigation followed fair, impartial procedures.
The infighting started a domestic political storm, undermining Moon’s anti-corruption campaign and boosting Yoon’s popularity. He eventually resigned as top prosecutor in March and joined the People Power Party in July.
Yoon has since pledged to attempt to end the liberal regime, accusing the Moon government of “trampling on fairness and justice” while being “corrupt” and “immoral”.
Yoon’s opponents have attacked him for his lack of expertise on security and other key issues.
“Yun himself does not have a foreign policy record, but he does have a deep pool of experienced advisors. The question is whether he will listen and judge the differing opinions among them,” said Professor Leif-Eric Easley of Iwa University in Seoul.
In September, Yoon said that if elected he would work with Washington to devise procedures on the deployment of US nuclear weapons in the event of an emergency and to promote the credibility of America’s “nuclear umbrella” security commitment to allies. To organize the respective joint training for
But he later suggested that he oppose the re-installation of strategic nuclear weapons in South Korea, which he withdrew in the 1990s, as it would deprive Seoul of its legitimacy in North Korea’s call for denuclearization. Will go He said it would be “more realistic” to ask Washington to send submarines carrying nuclear missiles around the Korean peninsula as a deterrence against a possible invasion from North Korea.
Yoon has also said he would prepare for economic cooperation with North Korea, but linked it to Pyongyang’s progress toward denuclearization, a policy that North Korea would not welcome.
How to deal with North Korea has long divided South Koreans sharply. Conservatives have called for tighter sanctions and pressure in close coordination with the United States to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions. But liberals favor a negotiated resolution of the nuclear issue, prioritizing better relations with North Korea over the US coalition of South Korea.
Moon’s government once brokered high-profile nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang, but their talks failed in early 2019 as they differed on whether the United States would need to maintain its main nuclear complex, a limited disarmament How much sanctions relief should North Korea provide in exchange for ending the measure? .