South Korea's 1st Woman President Takes Helm
Park Geun-hye faces nuclear North, divided South
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 25, 2013 7:27 AM CST
South Korean rapper PSY performs before President Park Geun-hye's presidential inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye, was inaugurated today—three decades after the assassination of her father, Park Chung-hee, who led a dictatorship for 18 years. Park enters office at a moment of heightened tensions with the North, weeks after its latest nuclear test, the New York Times notes. In her inaugural address, she urged the North to drop its nuclear weapons program "without delay," Reuters reports. It marks "a challenge to the survival and future of the Korean people, and there should be no mistake that the biggest victim will be none other than North Korea itself."

According to Reuters, the new president has two options in addressing the North: either "paying off" Pyongyang to halt its program—an option that failed in 2006—or boosting sanctions against the North, a process that has resulted in attacks on Southern territory. Meanwhile, she'll have to win over younger South Koreans fuming over her father's heavy-handed rule. To make things even more complicated, her inauguration comes days after a pastor was arrested after making claims that Park had slept with Kim Jong Il in 2002, the Times notes. The Hollywood Reporter has a lighter note: The inauguration featured Mr. Gangnam Style himself, PSY.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
kawahchan
Feb 25, 2013 12:34 PM CST
(R) 2014 & 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: On Sunday, we watched the 1st (first) female Conservative Republican South Korean President Park Geun-hye inauguration LIVE ! on Bay Area, California's TV Channel 26-3. She is thrift, prudence, inventive and enterprising South Korean woman President after ex-US President Richard M. Nixon footstep. While US military budget cut, President Park will fulfill her "tact" to associate with the North Korea diplomacy. The American Republican CIA like to see South Korean President Park will make a plan to official-visit Iran and trade, medical technology and bio-pharmacy technology issues, American Republicans DON'T want North Korea will taste the first-spoon of Iranian soup -- the nuclear juice (Uranium). South Korea and Texas are having a VERY CLOSE Academic, Global Economy, military and commerce relationship; the 2014 & 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY treasures our Republican reciprocal cooperation very much.
JackNelsonSteward
Feb 25, 2013 11:35 AM CST
She looks tough as a combat boot. Sounds like she has some history she needs to speak to, though I didn't catch if there is any culpabiity on her part for her father's "heavy handed" regime. Did she participate, or was she the child of the "heavy handed" one? If she was a child she has nothing to answer for. The paranoid standoff dividing a single people in their own homeland is insane.
Fondue
Feb 25, 2013 9:10 AM CST
My guess is the US will be the last to elect a female to the highest office.