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Summary of major presidential candidates' campaign pledges

2017/04/06 14:59

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of key campaign pledges of leading presidential candidates: Moon Jae-in of the largest Democratic Party, Ahn Cheol-soo of the center-left People's Party, Hong Joon-pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party and Yoo Seong-min of the splinter right-wing Bareun Party.

-- North Korea relations and Kaesong Industrial Complex

Moon: agrees with need to hold dialogue with North Korea and reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Ahn: agrees with need to hold dialogue with North Korea but opposes immediate reopening of the Kaesong complex.

Hong: says reopening the Kaesong complex is impossible unless the North completely abandons its nuclear ambitions first.

Yoo: opposes immediate resumption of the Kaesong complex but says it will be possible following measures to reduce tension between the two Koreas.

-- U.S. alliance and THAAD deployment

Moon: is an advocate of an equal relationship between South Korea and the United States. He opposes the ongoing THAAD deployment, says the decision must be left to the next administration.

Ahn: stresses the importance of a strong alliance between Seoul and Washington. He says the next administration must honor the agreement for the THAAD deployment.

Yoo: pledges to deploy additional THAAD units even at the country's own expense. He has also vowed to seek joint operation and use of U.S. nuclear capabilities.

Hong: is the only candidate openly calling for deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea. Likewise, he strongly agrees with the THAAD deployment.

-- Japan relations and sexual slavery

Moon: calls for a renegotiation of the 2015 deal on wartime sexual slavery of Korean women.

Ahn: calls for a renegotiation of the agreement, along with a probe to see if there had been any hidden deals regarding the possible removal of statues symbolizing Korean women forced into sexual slavery.

Yoo: says the deal must be renegotiated largely because the victims themselves did not endorse the 2015 agreement.

Hong: says a deal is not possible to begin with because sexual slavery is a crime against humanity that is only punishable.

-- Jobs

Moon: pledges to create 810,000 jobs in the public sector. In the private sector, he promises to push for the creation of 500,000 more jobs.

Ahn: vows to spend a total of 3 trillion won during his term to provide 6 million won per year to each young employee of a small or medium-sized firm. This ensures they receive about 80 percent of the salary of their counterparts at large businesses.

Hong: opposes active government intervention in creating jobs, saying that the task should be left to the private sector. The government, however, must create a favorable environment for business investment, he claims.

Yoo: promises to introduce a quota for irregular workers to stop big businesses from exploiting them as a way to cut costs. He also pledges to increase the minimum hourly wage from the current 6,470 won to 10,000 won by 2020.

-- Big business reform

Moon: pledges to increase transparency in the management structure of big businesses known as chaebol through a concentrated vote system, electronic voting and a system of asking employees to recommend members of the board.

Ahn: plans to push for legal revisions aimed at checking chaebol power and widely implement a penalty system that forces businesses to pay compensation for their illegal acts.

Hong: warns against casting the chaebol as evil, saying such perceptions are unhelpful to the nation's economic development. The chaebol should be punished for their misdeeds, but it is absurd to bash them and demand more jobs at the same time, he says.

Yoo: pledges not to pardon corrupt chaebol. He vows to scrap the anti-monopoly watchdog's own right to bring charges against businesses and to introduce a group litigation system, as well as a punitive compensation system.

-- Welfare

Moon: pledges to introduce a system to cap household debts and lower the maximum interest rate to 20 percent.

Ahn: is reportedly looking into a welfare plan tailored for each age and income group, including a larger basic pension for senior citizens.

Hong: plans to repeal the universal free child care program offered to all children up to age 5 and introduce a staged program that offers different levels of support to five different income groups.

Yoo: says he will gradually raise the average monthly national pension from the current 360,000 won to 800,000 won and gradually reduce the individual burden for health insurance fees from 36.8 percent in 2014 to 20 percent.

-- Constitutional revision

Moon: wants to change the current single, five-year presidential term to a four-year one with the possibility for re-election and a referendum on the revision to be held in tandem with the local elections in June 2018.

Ahn: wants to institute a government model that would decentralize state powers concentrated in the president and hold a referendum in the 2018 local elections.

Hong: seeks a revision to not only revamp the government structure but also reshape the unicameral parliamentary system into a bicameral one.

Yoo: wants a change from the current single, five-year presidency to a four-year one with the possibility for re-election and wants a referendum in the 2018 elections.

-- Prosecution reform

Moon: wants to limit the prosecution's powers to investigate criminal suspects and install a new anti-corruption body to watch any wrongdoings of prominent public officials.

Ahn: has no specific reform plan yet but wants to strengthen the independence of the judiciary by revoking the presidential right to appoint a Supreme Court chief.

Hong: wants to give more power to police with a right to seek arrest warrants against criminal suspects.

Yoo: has no specific reform plan but wants to install a special agency tasked with investigating corruption involving public officials.

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