On February 24, 2013 Park Geun-hye became the first female prime minister of South Korea. Her father was a dictator that ruled the country but managed to to produce high economic growth known as the Miracle on the Han River. His daughter takes over at a time when there is a substantial gap between the rich and the poor. Her pledge when running for office was “to take of our people one-by-one.”
She also promised to again fulfill a catchword phrase used by her father, “Let’s live well.” She plans to extend welfare, child support payments and education for all. South Korea is Asia’s fourth largest economy.
Park’s first weeks in office will be complicated by North Korea’s warning of unspecified “second and third measures of greater intensity,” a threat that comes as Washington and others push for tightened U.N. sanctions as punishment for the Feb. 12 atomic test, the North’s third since 2006.
In 1974 Park’s mother was assassinated by a Japanese-North Korean who blamed his crime on orders from North Korea’s dictator. Five years later, her father was murdered by one of his colleagues at a drinking party.
Now, aged 60, Park has had a life time of experiences in her close connection to politics. For the past fifteen years, Park has been an assembly-woman and for the last couple of years has been head of her conservative party, nownamed the New Frontier Party. She has good credentials as a leader.
Park’s approach to the North Korean dictatorship will be watched. North Korea is planning to further its nuclear capabilities.
Note: One comment in a North American newspaper stated that North Korean may sense that a woman in power is an opportunity to claim victory. The comment went on to say that North Korean may think this woman may crumble. There have been some formitable Female Prime Ministers or Presidents. One does not have to look far to remember Margaret Thatcher and her call for a war against Argentina. Golda Meir was a tough Israeli Prime Minister and nobody messed with Benazi Bhuto of Pakistan, or Indira Gandhi of India.