South Korea's ruling party claimed a majority Thursday in a parliamentary vote that centered on domestic issues but had implications for Seoul's relationship with the North.
President Lee Myung-bak's conservative Saenuri Party was expected to win at least 152 seats while his liberal rivals were set to claim 140 in the race for 300 parliamentary seats, the National Election Commission said with 1 percent of ballots left uncounted. South Koreans went to the polls a day earlier.
Ties between the two Koreas plummeted during Lee's tenure, with two attacks Seoul blames on Pyongyang killing 50 South Koreans in 2010. North Korea also conducted a long-range rocket launch and tested a nuclear device in 2009.
After North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died in December and his son Kim Jong Un took over, Pyongyang stepped up criticism of Lee, accusing his government of failing to pay proper respect to Kim Jong Il.
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South Korea has demonstrated today, after the competitive election between the conservative and the progressive, that the top priorities of the Korean people are the national security issues and domestic economic troubles.
This result will show that the people of South Korean are united under the same cause, even to stand against the provocations from North Korea with their missile launch scheme.