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May 30, 2017

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Human rights lawyer sets S. Korean presidential bid

SEOUL--A man who was once imprisoned by South Korea's former military dictator, Park Chung-hee, said on Sunday he would seek the center-left's nomination to run for president, likely setting up a contest with the daughter of the man who jailed him.

Moon Jae-in, a former aide to ex-President Roh Moo-hyun, announced his bid for the presidency, seeking to unite the fractured left in a battle that is likely to pit the winner of the left's internal contest against Park Geun-hye, the ruling conservative party's candidate.

Moon, 59, had earlier worked in a law partnership with Roh, taking on human and civil rights cases. Though a relative unknown on the national stage, he is the center-left's frontrunner in opinion polls, with support ratings of around 12 percent. He hopes to capitalize on unease over growing income gaps between rich and poor in South Korea.

He lies some 30 percentage points behind Park, 60, the clear frontrunner in the polls to be held in December.

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