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South Korea elects 1st Female President

The Associated Press
Posted: Dec 19, 2012


Conservative ruling party candidate Park Geun-hye has been elected as South Korea’s first female president, a historic win that came despite her past as the daughter of a divisive military strongman.

After five years of high tension under unpopular incumbent Lee Myung-bak, Park’s win on Wednesday could also mean a new drive to start talks with rival North Korea, which launched a widely condemned long-range rocket last week.

Pyongyang’s state media, however, has repeatedly questioned the sincerity of her North Korea policy, which calls for greater engagement than her fellow party member, the hardline Lee Myung-bak.

Her win is also history-making in northeast Asia. No Korean woman is believed to have ruled since the ninth century. Park becomes the most powerful figure in a country where women are often paid less than men, are often trapped in low-paying jobs, despite first-class educations, and often struggle to raise families and pursue careers.

Analysts said her victory shows women can thrive in South Korea’s tough political world.

‘This election is the people’s victory’

After liberal candidate Moon Jae-in conceded defeat in a close race, Park said that she would dedicate herself to improving public livelihood and achieving national unity.

“I really thank you. This election is the people’s victory,” Park told a crowd of people packing a Seoul plaza. Read full article>>