South Korea's Moon takes presidency of divided country

10 May 2017

Liberal politician Moon Jae-in is officially announced as South Korea's new president, ending months of political turmoil in the country in the face of rising tensions with the North. Samantha Vadas from Reuters reports.

Reporter, Reuters, Samantha Vadas <<< A new beginning for South Korea. "Candidate of the Democratic Party, Moon Jae-in, is elected as the president."

Officials confirming his election win on Wednesday (May 10) ending months of political turmoil.

It's straight down to brass tacks for Moon, who takes the oath just a day after South Koreans went to the polls.

His first big job will be announcing his staff appointments to quickly plug a political vacuum left by the ousting of his predecessor Park Geun-hye.

Now at the helm, Moon will need to find ways to mend a deeply divided electorate and a society badly bruised by the former president's corruption scandal.

His most challenging task though: coaxing an increasingly belligerent North Korea to dial back on its nuclear and missile threats, while defusing a potential trade conflict with the U.S.

Moon will also need to figure out how to ease tensions with China following the deployment of the US anti missiles system known as THAAD, aimed at protecting his country from a potential rocket from the North.