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2017-05-10

The newly elected president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, has been sworn in after a decisive election victory.

He said he would be willing to visit Pyongyang “in the right circumstances”.

The 64-year-old human rights lawyer, known for his liberal views, wants to increase contact with North Korea in a departure from current policy.

He has also vowed to unify a divided country reeling from a corruption scandal which saw his predecessor impeached, and improve the economy.

Moon was sworn in as South Korea’s 19th president at the National Assembly building in Seoul, filling a leadership vacuum in the wake of Park Geun-hye’s removal.

The Democratic Party candidate has positioned himself as the man who can move the country on from the scandal, and has pledged to build “a just, united country”.

He has also been critical of the two previous conservative administrations for failing to stop North Korea’s weapons development, and has promised to bolster the economy and address youth unemployment, key concerns for voters.

The US, South Korea’s most important ally, has congratulated the new president.