South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s Ouster to Trigger Shift on U.S. Policy

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Moon Jae-in, the leading candidate to replace Ms. Park, favors closer relations with China.

The ouster of South Korea’s president on Friday triggers an election within the next 60 days that polls show will install a leader more skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy objectives in Northeast Asia.

Park Geun-hye, the conservative president removed by South Korea’s Constitutional Court on Friday, was a reliable U.S. partner, pushing Washington’s hard-line approach to North Korea that aims to pressure Pyongyang’s leadership over its missile and nuclear programs.

South Korea this week received the first components of a controversial U.S. missile-defense system that is meant to deter North Korea’s missile threat.

Moon Jae-in, the leading candidate to succeed Ms. Park, has questioned the missile-defense system and championed policies that would bring South Korea closer to China and encourage more dialogue with the rival Korean regime in Pyongyang. The presidential hopefuls behind him, who like Mr. Moon are on the left side of the political spectrum, have similarly accommodating views on those relations.

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