One of the biggest questions that the South Korean public has for these candidates concerns the shape of their foreign policy. South Korea’s position in Northeast Asia has experienced turbulence in the past two years. For example, North Korea destroyed the Joint Liaison Office in Panmunjom in June 2020 and terminated the inter-Korean communication line. In addition, South Korea’s disputes with Japan over economic sanctions and historical narratives on the war crimes committed during World War II have complicated cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo. The COVID-19 pandemic has also created a stalemate in regional diplomacy and inter-state economic exchanges.
Thus, the South Korean public will want the next president to develop a breakthrough that can resolve the hardships and uncertainties currently surrounding the Korean Peninsula.