The daughter of a former dictator was elected South Korea’s first female President yesterday. Park Geun-hye, 60, replaces her unpopular conservative party colleague, Lee Myung-bak.
Ms Park’s victory could mean a new drive to start talks with 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 the hardline Mr Lee.
No Korean woman is believed to have ruled since the ninth century. Ms Park becomes the most powerful figure in a country where women are often paid less than men, are often trapped in low-paying jobs, and often struggle to raise families and pursue careers. Analysts said her victory shows women can thrive in a tough political world.
After the liberal candidate Moon Jae-in conceded defeat in a close race, Ms 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,” Ms Park told a crowd in Seoul.