(AP) — Here are some comments made during the presidential campaign by Moon Jae-in, set to be South Korea’s next leader after his main rivals conceded defeat Tuesday:
“This presidential election is not a fight between conservatives and progressives. It’s a choice between justice and injustice, between common sense and shamelessness, between fairness and unfairness, and between forces looking to build a better future with reforms and forces of the past who are responsible for an accumulation of evils.”
On April 3, after winning the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
“We sternly and clearly warn (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un not to take the path toward self-destruction. If the Korean Peninsula again suffers the ravages of war, I myself will hold up a gun to protect our nation and the lives of our people.”
On April 11, while commenting on concerns that North Korea could be preparing for another nuclear or missile test.
“If you can get North Korea to discard its nuclear weapons, wouldn’t you, candidate Hong, visit?”
On April 13, responding to conservative rival Hong Joon-pyo, who attacked Moon during a televised debate over his willingness to visit North Korea to talk with Kim Jong Un.
“I have never thought about pardoning former President Park and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong. I can’t understand or accept discussions about granting them amnesty when they have just been arrested.”
On April 13, responding during the same debate to whether he would consider pardoning ousted President Park Geun-hye, who is facing a corruption trial, and Lee, the billionaire scion of Samsung who has been accused of bribery.
“Those who haven’t really served in the military should never dare talk about national security in front of me, Moon Jae-in, who served in the special forces.”
On April 20, responding to criticism by rival candidates on why he refuses to openly declare North Korea as the South’s “main enemy.”
On April 26, responding to Hong, who stated that gay soldiers were weakening the country’s military before asking Moon whether he opposes homosexuality.
“The decision on whether to deploy THAAD should be deferred to the next government.”
On April 28, as the contentious U.S. missile system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense was being installed in South Korea to protect against North Korean threats.
“This is the last challenge of my life. I’ve really done my best so far. I’ve made enormous preparations. I’m confident. I’ll strain every nerve to the last minute to be a president for all the people.”
On May 8, on the eve of the election.