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Two front-runners emerge in South Korea's election

Election appears to hinge on how to deal with North Korea amid rising tensions

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Protesters celebrate the impeachment of ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye at a rally in Seoul in March.   © Reuters

SEOUL The May 9 presidential election in South Korea is shaping up as a two-way race between Moon Jae-in and Ahn Cheol-soo. With registration for candidacy now closed, five hopefuls remain standing, but only two have any real chance of replacing disgraced former President Park Geun-hye, who was recently forced out of office and into jail.

A survey by opinion research firm Gallup Korea conducted April 11-13 showed Moon with a 40% approval rating compared to Ahn at 37%. The other candidates are not even considered long shots: Hong Joon-pyo, 62, of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, is polling at 7% while Yoo Seong-min, 59, of the conservative Bareun Party, and Sim Sang-jung, 58, of the Justice Party, are eking out 3% each.

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