Global News

Moon Jae-in: Who is South Korea’s new president?

Moon Jae-in has swept to victory in South Korea, leaving his nearest rival trailing in his wake.

Just who is this man who once spent time in jail for protesting against the father of his predecessor, Park Geun-hye?

Ms Park is now the one in prison, awaiting trial on charges she denies, while Mr Moon – the son of refugees from the North, who spent his first years strapped to his mother’s back as she sold eggs to make ends meet – prepares to lead the country.

Fleeing south

Mr Moon’s parents fled the North during the Korean War. By the time he was born in 1953, they were living on the southern island of Geoje.

According to his autobiography, his father worked at a prisoner-of-war camp while his mother sold eggs in the port city of Busan.

In 1972, Mr Moon entered law school but he was not there for long.

Mr Moon was arrested for leading the protests against Park Chung-Hee’s authoritarian rule. He was sent to jail, where he passed the bar and was eventually released.

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