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South Korea election issues

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Soaring prices for green onions and apples. Striking doctors. A politician’s allegedly sexist jab at a female candidate. These are among the issues animating voters in South Korea this year.

As South Koreans prepare to vote for a new 300-member parliament next week, many are choosing their livelihoods and other domestic topics as their most important election issues, staying away from traditionally popular agendas like North Korean nuclear threats and the U.S. security commitment.

“I feel drawn to someone who talks about things that can be truly helpful to our neighborhoods,” said Kim Yun-ah, a 45-year-old Seoul officer worker. “I often don’t know when North Korea test-fired missiles.”

Experts say up to about 30% or 40% of South Korea’s 44 million voters are politically neutral and that who they end up supporting will likely determine the results of the April 10 elections.

A look at the upcoming South Korean elections and the issues affecting voters’ sentiments.

South Korea’s conservative-liberal divide is so stark that many voters likely have already determined who they’ll vote for according to their party affiliation, rather than by looking at the policies of the candidates in their districts.

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