The ruling party's Park Geun-hye and the main opposition party's Moon Jae-in both failed to score any dramatic blows against each other in a TV debate Tuesday.
The minor opposition party's Lee Jung-hee came off as the more energetic candidate, repeatedly firing blows at Park on a number of issues.
Park and Moon agreed that since the two of them have a lot of reform pledges in common, they will try to pass some of them together even before the presidential election to show the public they are serious.
Lee was less assertive in debating with the DUP candidate until the time came to talk about North Korea. Moon said the North must immediately stop its planned rocket launch, but Lee said talks must come first.
All eyes are now on how well the three will fare in the next debate on economic issues next Monday.