South Korea's past decade of conservative rule has encouraged smooth relations with the U.S. Moon's more liberal approach could fuel tensions, as happened under a liberal South Korean government in the 2000s.
Data from an exit poll conducted by the country's top three television networks showed that while Moon won the majority of votes cast by those under the age of 50, rival Hong found strong support from those in their 60s and 70s, who tend to be more conservative.
Moon's first schedule as president was expected to be a morning visit to the National Cemetery in the central city of Daejeon, where the country's independence fighters and war heroes are buried.
Moon has Washington anxious that his more moderate approach could undercut efforts to increase pressure and sanctions on Pyongyang, senior South Korean government officials have said.His election could also add volatility to relations with Washington, given his questioning of the THAAD deployment, but it was not expected to change the alliance significantly, a USA official said.
Director Emmanuel Park Moon-chil said that initially there were health concerns about electromagnetic radiation from the radar in an area famous for its crop of Korean melons.
Moon swept to power on Monday in an unprecedented election that was called after his predecessor Park Geun-hye was impeached over a corruption scandal.
Veerle Nouwens, an Asia analyst at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London, said the summit invitation was a goodwill gesture to get North Korea back into the global community.
Yet Moon also advocates being able to "say no to the Americans", strengthening South Korea's independent defense capabilities, and regaining wartime operational control of South Korean military forces from the United States. Tuesday-the day he was elected-Moon announced that "under the right conditions" he could open discussions with Pyongyang, a stance some believe could put the US ally at odds with the Trump administration as it considers military intervention in the region.
There's widespread opposition in South Korea to the THAAD deployment and loud protests from China, which also sees the system as a security threat.More news: Boston's Thomas to attend sister's funeral after game
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Other challenges Moon faces include mending a society badly bruised by the corruption scandal that rocked South Korea's business and political elite.
The election has been watched closely by allies and neighbors, with North Korea believed to be gearing up for its sixth nuclear test and vowing to test an intercontinental ballistic missile.
During his campaign, many conservatives anxious that Moon's election would cause problems with Washington, Seoul's most important ally, because of his engagement policy on North Korea would clash with Trump's push to maximize pressures on the country.
Moon's presidency foregoes the usual two-month transition because Tuesday's vote was a by-election to choose a successor to Park, whose term was to end in February 2018. It's highly unlikely that Moon will pursue the same level of rapprochement that past liberal governments took.
Well, Park was friendly with the USA and agreed with our officials on North Korea.
During his Wednesday oath-taking ceremony, Moon remarked, "I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean Peninsula ..."
China maintained an unyielding stance even after the deployment went ahead, apparently hoping that Moon would either reverse that decision or be chastised sufficiently to eschew any similar steps in the future. The BBC and France 24 focused on Moon's denuclearization policies and the possible changes he could bring to the Korean peninsula. Moon also promised the South Koreans he will "put together a huge stimulus package, to create 810,000 public-sector positions and to reduce long working hours". While his victory would represent a seismic shift in politics in South Korea, it could also upend President Donald Trump's plans to apply increasing pressure to the regime of North Korea's Kim Jong-un.
Taking up his role as the new commander in chief, Moon began his duties earlier in the day by receiving a call from Army Gen.
"On the basis of mutual understanding and mutual respect, China is committed to cementing political mutual trust, properly handling differences and enhancing coordination and cooperation, so as to push for the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties", he added.