By Chun Beom-joo and Chung Seok-hwan
South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in who was immediately sworn in after Tuesday’s victory in a snap election said Wednesday that he would fly to Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, as well as Pyongyang if necessary for national security and peace in the peninsula.
“I will not waste my time and will do whatever is necessary for lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula,” he said in inauguration speech at the National Assembly. To further strengthen traditional Korea-U.S. alliance, he offered to go to Washington immediately for summit talks with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.
“We will seriously negotiate with the U.S. and China to solve the conflict over the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system,” Moon said. As a liberal candidate, Moon had raised concerns about his views on security issues as he opposed to the deployment of the U.S. missile shield and promised engagement policy towards North Korea that has fast advanced nuclear and missile weapons program and carried out a series of provocations this year.
Moon, having won Tuesday’s election that was pulled ahead seven months ahead of schedule due to impeachment and removal of former President Park Geun-hye amidst bitterly divided public sentiment and enragement over corruption in the mainstream politics, vowed to become a “humble” and “communicative” president who would relinquish the traditionally mighty powers concentrated on the president.
He would oversee everyday affairs not from the Blue House (presidential office), but at the government building complex in Gwanghwamun to “discuss all affairs with aides” before coming to a decision and personally brief the press on the public policies.
He would meet citizens after work and hold lively conference with the general public at the Gwanghwamun Plaza in downtown Seoul.
He would make law enforcement offices and state authorities “completely “ free from political influence and reform the family-run chaebols to root out collusive practices and relationship between the public and private sector.
“I assure you. Under Moon Jae-in and Democratic Party, opportunities will become equal, the process fair, and the result just.”
He will end the poor tradition of the Korean presidency ending in disgrace by starting and retiring presidency both empty-handed.
“There was no winner and loser in this election. We are all partners,” he said pledging to meet regularly with legislative and opposition members and recruit talents regardless of party affiliation.