SEOUL, South Korea — The liberal son of North Korean refugees faces the conservative daughter of a late dictator in South Korea’s presidential election Wednesday. For all their differences, they hold similar views on the need to engage with Pyongyang and other issues.
One big reason: Voters are deeply dissatisfied with current President Lee Myung-bak, including with his hardline stance on the country’s authoritarian rival to the north. Park Geun-hye, who belongs to Lee’s party, has had to tack to the center in her bid to become South Korea’s first woman president.
Polls showed Park and Moon Jae-in in a dead heat ahead of elections to lead Asia’s fourth-largest economy and an important U.S. security bulwark in the region.
There’s deepening worry about the economy and disgust over the alleged involvement of aides close to Lee in corruption scandals.