SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) -- New President Moon Jae-in promised cooperative relations with opposition parties Wednesday during fence-mending meetings after a bitter campaign which exposed the nation's deep political divides.
Moon, a former chief of the liberal Democratic Party, visited the leaders of all four opposition parties shortly after his term formally began.
He was elected with 41.1 percent of the vote Tuesday. He faces an opposition-controlled parliament, whose cooperation would hold the key to implementation of his policies.
In his first meeting with Rep. Chung Woo-taik, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, the new president promised to put the fierce presidential campaign behind him and work together with rival parties.
"I will respect the National Assembly, communicate with opposition parties, which play an important role in the National Assembly, and (run the government) as a partner in state affairs," Moon said.
President Moon Jae-in (L) holds talks with Rep. Chung Woo-taik, floor leader of the Liberty Korea Party, at the party's headquarters in Seoul on May 10, 2017. (Yonhap)
He voiced hope that the conservative party, affiliated with ousted former president Park Geun-hye, would help his administration resolve issues related to inter-Korean affairs, national security and the bilateral alliance with the United States.
"I will make sure important information on national security is shared with the opposition parties through briefings and gather wisdom," he said.
Moon also met with the chief of the center-left People's Party at the National Assembly.
"We competed intensely for a change of government, but I believe our desire for government change or national unity after government change are the same," he told Rep. Park Jie-won.
Moon especially urged special cooperation from the People's Party, which splintered off from the Democratic Party, citing their common roots.
The former human rights lawyer also promised to meet with opposition leaders throughout his five-year term and offered consolation to the two parties' candidates who lost in the race.
In turn, the president then met with the leaders of the conservative Bareun Party and the progressive Justice Party.
The ruling party holds 120 of the 299 seats in parliament, followed by the Liberty Korea Party with 94, the People's Party with 40, the Bareun Party with 32 and the Justice Party with six.
The new president was sworn in at a scaled-down ceremony at the National Assembly at noon. His term began earlier in the day after his election was confirmed by the National Election Commission.
He plans to announce his nominees for prime minister and other key posts in the afternoon.