Park Geun-hye took office as South Korea’s first female President today, returning to the presidential mansion she had known as the daughter of a dictator.
Elected in December, Ms Park must answer victims of her father’s 18-year dictatorship and address worries about a lack of jobs, a growing gap between rich and poor, a stagnating economy – and the troublesome neighbour to the north.
At her inauguration today, a band played a military march before a crowd of tens of thousands, including US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.
Before Ms Park took her oath of office, South Korean superstar Psy performed his global hit “Gangnam Style”. As Ms Park was sworn in, North Korea’s state media issued a statement that read: “The US warmongers should think what consequence will be brought out for getting on the nerves of the DPRK, a dignified nuclear power,” the North’s main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency. It warned the allies would “die in flames” if they start a northward invasion.