Park Geun-hye was elected South Korea’s first fema

Park Geun-hye was elected South Korea’s first fema

South Korea elects its first female president

Park Geun-hye was elected South Korea's first female president after narrowly beating her opponent Moon Jae-in in the National Election Commission held on December 19th last year. The elected president is daughter of army general Park Chung-hee who took power in South Korea in a coup d'état in 1961 and ruled the country as dictator for 18 years. She replaces President Lee Myung Bak, a member of her conservative party.

After her victory, Park addressed the nation and focused her speech on security as a major concern, in reference to North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket the week prior to the elections.

"The election was held during a rapidly changing situation on and around the Korean peninsula. North Korea's long-range missile launch showed how grave a security situation we face", she stated.

In her speech, Park pledged to work with regional partners for greater peace. However, she did not favour a return to a more peaceful persuasion policy, which Moon promoted.

She said: "I will definitely keep my promise to open a new era for the Korean peninsula through strong security and diplomacy on the basis of mutual trust. I will try to work for greater reconciliation, co-operation and peace in north-east Asia on correct perception of history".

Moreover, Park also addressed social issues which are closer to the everyday lives of the citizens like economic equity and prosperity. She promised to boost welfare benefits to South Koreans in an ailing economy and to reduce the power of big corporations.

"I will try to make the society share economic benefits without isolating anybody from the fruits of economic growth. That is the real meaning of a grand unity of the people, economic democratization and happiness of all the people," she added.