Palace congratulates S. Korea’s Moon over election victory

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2017 11:45 AM

Palace congratulates S. Korea’s Moon over election victory 1
Moon Jae-in gestures to his party members as they watch a broadcast of exit polls in Seoul. Hwang Kwang-mo/Yonhap via Reuters

MANILA – Malacanang on Wednesday congratulated Liberal politician Moon Jae-in for winning South Korea’s presidential election.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Philippines remain committed to further enhancing relations with South Korea under Moon.

"The Philippines and the Republic of Korea have strong, comprehensive and long-standing bilateral ties. Our two countries have extensive cooperation on political, economic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges in the bilateral, regional, and multilateral spheres,” Abella said in a statement.

Moon decisively won South Korea's presidential election on Tuesday, television networks declared, an expected victory ending nearly a decade of conservative rule and bringing a more conciliatory approach toward North Korea.

Moon's victory will end months of political turmoil that led to parliament's impeachment of conservative former President Park Geun-hye over an extensive corruption scandal, which a court upheld in March. Park became the first democratically elected leader in South Korea to be removed from office, triggering a snap election to choose her successor.

Climbing a temporary stage set up in the main square in downtown Seoul, a beaming Moon surrounded by his Democratic Party leaders, vowed to usher in a new era for a country badly bruised by the scandal in a midnight victory speech.

"I will make a just, united country," he told a crowd gathered to see the former human rights lawyer who entered politics just five years ago. "I will be a president who also serves all the people who did not support me."

The White House congratulated Moon on his election win, saying it looked forward to working with him to strengthen the longstanding US-South Korea alliance.

A US official said Moon's election could add "volatility" to ties with Washington, given his questioning of deployment of a US missile defense there and his advocacy of engagement with North Korea when the Trump administration seeks to step up pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs.

But the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Moon may moderate his stance on installation of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system once he is in office and is not expected to significantly alter the alliance.

President Duterte has also called for calm in the Korean Peninsula, asking US President Donald Trump to go easy on North Korea and Chinese President Xi Jinping to intervene. – with Reuters