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Scandals rock Moon's bid to clean up South Korea politics

Allegations against allies slow reforms, push president to turn up heat on Japan

Scandals are weakening South Korean President Moon Jae-in's economic and political agendas.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in came to office in 2017 on a pledge to clean up politics after his predecessor was brought down by a massive corruption scandal. But now he's facing a slew of allegations that could potentially threaten his own presidency.

Kim Kyung-soo, the public relations manager of Moon's presidential campaign, was sentenced late last month to two and a half years in prison for using an influential blogger to manipulate public opinion on social media. Kim, who is governor of South Gyeongsang Province, allowed the blogger to use a computer program that created fake "likes" and post comments favorable to Moon on some 70,000 news stories.

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