A recap of the briefing on the Korean Legislative Election


The Australia-Korea Business Council in collaboration with Dr Tony Michell from Korea Associates Business Consultancy Ltd, delivered a highly successful webinar earlier this week on the results of Korea's General Election.


  • On April 10, South Korea held its 22nd general election. 
  • The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) emerged victorious, winning a majority of the 300 seats in the National Assembly, with 175 seats
  • The ruling People Power Party's (PPP) won 108 seats. 
  • The overall voter turnout was 67 percent, which was the highest record in 32 years.
  • These mid-term elections are largely seen as an opportunity to gauge citizens’ level of approval of President Yoon Suk Yeol.
  • From a legislative point of view, President Yoon is a lame duck.
  • A number of issues contributed to this election outcome including:
  • The insistence that from 2025 an increase of 2000 new medical students must be recruited to meet the needs of 2035
  • The appointment of former chief of staff as Ambassador to Australia when he was under investigation for suppressing information about the death of a marine
  • Denial of wrong doing over his wife's acceptance of luxury bag


FDI policy expected to continue

  • The government aims to attract global companies to establish a business-friendly support system to reach Korea's USD 35 billion foreign investment target.


Foreign Affairs

  • The president has few restrictions on his power over foreign affairs (Pundit consensus)
  • The opposition has not fully bought into his pivot to the US and Japan.
  • Cannot be taken for granted that Korea will join AUKUS
  • Structure of the possible China-Japan-Korea Summit in May to be watched
  • Arguments about US industrial policy have shown Korea at a disadvantage especially on EV credits and semiconductors and on restricting investment and trade in China policy.  


Views towards North Korea

  • Both sides to step back from a 2018 military agreement North Korea signed with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol's predecessor, Moon Jae-in
  • Active opposition by DP and allies could reverse the current dismantling of the Ministry of Unification and at least tempt the North away from dependency on Russia



  • The Democratic Party of Korea and the Rebuilding Korea Party advocate the expansion of renewable energy, where as the current government supports the expansion of coal and nuclear power
  • Democratic Party pledged 'Renewable Energy 3540' to increase the proportion of renewable energy generation to 40% by 2035. The plan is to open the era of RE100 (100% renewable energy) by switching to eco-friendly renewable energy.