South Korea's former top prosecutor Yoon Suk Yeol, who is expected to run in next year's presidential election from the main opposition People Power Party, announced his bid on Tuesday.

"With common sense as my weapon, I will definitely rebuild the free democracy and the rule of law that have fallen apart, as well as the value of justice, that could reverberate through different eras and generations," Yoon told a press conference in Seoul.

South Korea's former top prosecutor Yoon Suk Yeol holds a press conference in Seoul on June 29, 2021. (Kyodo)

Yoon has been regarded one of the major presidential hopefuls, taking a lead in various opinion polls. He resigned as the prosecutor general in March after opposing President Moon Jae In's administration over prosecution reform and other issues.

He said many people have shown support and understanding toward his resignation, which motivated him to run in the election scheduled for next March and bring about political change.

When asked about South Korea-Japan relations, Yoon said the two countries should put all the problems -- including "comfort women," wartime forced labor and export controls -- on the table at the same time and have a "grand bargain-like" approach.

Yoon suggested that as is the case with the South Korea-U.S. relationship, foreign and defense ministerial "two-plus-two" talks could be launched between South Korea and Japan.

From the ruling Democratic Party, former Prime Minister Lee Nak Yon announced his running Tuesday. Current Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae Myung, seen as a strong candidate, will throw his bid Thursday.

The Democratic Party started to accept on Monday entries for its official candidates of the presidential primary race. Former Prime Minister Chung Sye Kyun and former Justice Minister Choo Mi Ae have made their entries to the party.

Choe Jae Hyeong, who was chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection, stepped down from his post on Monday amid wide expectations he will run for president from the People Power Party.

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