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Kallie Szczepanski

Park Geun Hye Inaugurated in S. Korea

By February 25, 2013

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South Korean President Park Geun-Hye is the daughter of former president Park Chung-Hee.

Today, South Korea inaugurated its first-ever female president, Park Geun Hye. It's a significant moment for a country that still displays many attitudes and traditions derived from the writings of Confucius.

However, the election of conservative Park Geun-Hye is controversial, to say the least. Her father, Park Chung-Hee, ruled South Korea as a military dictator for 18 years in the 1960s and 1970s.

The first President Park's record leaves some potential pitfalls for his daughter as she takes the helm. He was once sentenced to death as a communist sympathizer, so Park Geun-Hye must take a hard-line approach to North Korea at a time of already high tensions. In addition, the elder Park was a Japanese collaborator during World War II and a member of Japan's Imperial Army, so Park Geun-Hye must not appear too friendly to South Korea's former colonizing power.

While it's always nice to see countries embracing the leadership potential of women as heads of state or heads of government, the election of Park Geun-Hye may make the already fragile diplomatic situation in East Asia even more precarious. The world will be watching to see how this turns out.

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images.

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