Moon Jae-in came to power following months of angry public protests.
His predecessor Park Geun-hye was impeached and ultimately imprisoned over a corruption scandal.
Moon campaigned on a liberal platform promising change.
After a year in the job with an approval rating of more than 80 percent, Moon is the most popular president since public polling began when the country transitioned to democracy in the 1980s.
Polls show many South Koreans even those who consider themselves conservatives like Moon personally.
The two groups pulling up Moon’s approval rating are the people who are satisfied by his unconventional openness.
And the people who believe Moon is doing a great job with inter-korean relations.
Some went along to an exhibition celebrating the highlights of Moon’s first year.
I really like his way of openly communicating with the public in many ways, especially compared to how disconnected other presidents were.
I have great expectations and I hope to see real cooperation and reconciliation with North Korea.
Few would have predicted these scenes a year ago.
Moon shifted from Park’s hardline policy towards Pyongyang to one of engagement, even as the president of South Korea’s ally - the United States - was threatening to totally destroy North Korea.
Moon’s vision for a peace olympics was realized when North Korea sent a delegation to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
And the two Koreas marched under a unified flag at the opening ceremony.
And since Donald Trump unexpectedly accepted an invitation for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un,
meetings not missile launches have become the new reality on the Korean Peninsula.
Moon has found himself in the diplomatic driver’s seat.
While Moon has been in the spotlight for his engagement with North Korea, some South Koreans would prefer to see the president focus on domestic issues.
During the campaign, he promised to tackle challenges such as the youth unemployment rate which recently hit a two-year high of 11.6.
The issue that is perceived by the public as the most significant is the economy.
If these issues are not improved, the president’s approval rating can sink at any single moment.
Before last year’s election, most South Koreans said the economy and jobs not inter-korean relations should be the next president’s top priority.
Something analysts say Moon may want to keep in mind as he begins his second year in office.