S. Korean gov't welcomes Obama's re-election

2012-11-07 07:20:59 GMT2012-11-07 15:20:59(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's presidential office on Wednesday welcomed the re-election of U.S. President Barack Obama, voicing hope for closer policy coordination between the allies.

Obama was re-elected Tuesday to a second term in the White House, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The U.S. leader is projected to have won a string of key swing states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire, which gave him at least 290 electoral votes out of 538.

"The South Korean government welcomes the re-election of U.S. President Barack Obama," the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said in a statement.

"We noted that President Obama has valued coordination with South Korea on North Korea's nuclear issues, and we hope to continue our close cooperation for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia," Cheong Wa Dae added, referring to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear program.

Facing its own election in December, South Korea's center- left Democratic United Party also congratulated Obama on winning the second four-year term.

"We hope that the re-election of Obama will help draw up a peaceful resolution to nuclear issues of North Korea (DPRK)," the main opposition Democratic United Party said in a statement.

The liberal opposition party said its standard-bearer Moon Jae- in will be a suitable partner of Obama if he is elected president in the Dec. 19 election.

"Obama's win gives us a crucial chance to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula," the liberal party said. "We hope that Moon will win the South Korean election so that peace will take root on the Korean peninsula."

Late presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, both affiliated with the Democratic United Party, advocated reconciliation and cooperation with the DPRK in what was often dubbed the "sunshine policy." Moon, a liberal, is widely expected to inherit this policy when he takes power.

Two other South Korean presidential candidates looking to replace incumbent President Lee Myung-bak, a hard-liner who had cut off almost all exchanges with the DPRK, have also pledged to improve strained ties with the northern neighbor.

According to a pre-election survey conducted by the Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies, 53.5 percent of the South Koreans who were polled supported Obama compared with 6.9 percent for Romney.

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