Title: President of the Republic of Korea
Age: 69 years old
The Korean War left a profound impact on Moon Jae-in’s family. In the 1950s, the Moon family fled North Korea at the height of the Korean War. Moon Jae-in grew up in poverty, became a human rights lawyer after graduation, and met his future mentor and close friend, Roh Moo-hyun. As Roh Moo-hyun was elected as President of South Korea in 2003, Moon also started his political career and was successfully elected as the 19th President of South Korea in 2017. He once said that had it not been for the death of Roh Moo-hyun, he couldn’t have returned to politics.
On the North Korean nuclear issue, Moon continued the sunshine policy of the former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, with the hope of a peaceful Korean reunification sometime in the future. It is generally perceived that Moon takes a pro-China position while leaning away from the USA and putting off choosing sides amidst US-China rivalry. Also, because of the country’s grudge against Japan, it has not yet joined the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue rebuilt by the U.S. and Japan. As the President of South Korea serves a five-year term and cannot be re-elected, Moon will step down in May this year. It is expected that he will not make major decisions in the short term.