South Korea inaugurates new president, Moon Jae-in, who says he might visit Pyongyang

Moon Jae-in, frontrunner for South Korean president
(Image credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a day after he was elected, Moon Jae-in was sworn in as the 19th president of South Korea at the National Assembly building in Seoul. Moon, a 64-year-old liberal, won a decisive 41 percent of the vote in Tuesday's special election, made necessary by the impeachment and subsequent arrest of former President Park Geun-hye in a massive corruption scandal; his closest competitor, Hong Joon-pyo of Park's conservative Liberty Korea Party, got 25.5 percent.

Moon, a human rights lawyer and former chief of staff to liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, vowed to unite the country after the divisive Park scandal, and try to reform the economy away from the massive family-run conglomerates, or chaebols, largely set up under Park's father, former military ruler Park Chung-hee. He has also pledged to try to improve relations with North Korea while also using sanctions and other forms of pressure to get it to abandon its nuclear weapons program, saying Wednesday he would be open to visiting Pyongyang "in the right circumstances."

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