It will almost certainly be Moon Jae-in of the centre-left main opposition Minjoo (Democrat) Party. This will mean a sharp break, after a decade of two right-wing leaders: Lee Myung-bak (2008-13) and the impeached and now imprisoned Park Geun-hye (2013-16), whose criminal trial on 18 counts of malfeasance began yesterday.
- Moon, armed with a mandate, may challenge US policy and force Trump to clarify his posturing.
- Relations with China would ease if Moon reverses deployment of new US missile defence systems, though this looks unlikely.
- If Moon restores inter-Korean trade, Pyongyang would become less vulnerable to Chinese economic sanctions.
- Seoul's ties with Tokyo will continue to fester, over both North Korea policy and historical issues.