With Wednesday's swearing-in of liberal candidate Moon Jae-in as South Korea's new president, all eyes are on whether he will stick to his campaign promise of pursuing rapprochement with Pyongyang after years of a pro-sanctions push out of Seoul — a policy shift that, if realized, would destabilize relations with its close allies, Tokyo and Washington.

Moon, a human rights lawyer-turned politician, is known as a strong backer of the Sunshine Policy of engaging North Korea, having worked closely for late former President Roh Moo-hyun, who had been an outspoken proponent of the policy.

In fact, in Wednesday's inaugural address, Moon appeared to waste no time in stressing his departure from years of get-tough diplomacy upheld by his conservative predecessors by saying he will consider visiting Pyongyang to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "if conditions are met."