South Korea: Park Geun-hye aims to become South Korea's first female president

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Park Geun-Hye

Photo credit: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

The daughter of a former South Korean dictator who was assassinated more than 30 years ago has announced a campaign to become the country's first female president with promises to tackle inequality and improve ties with North Korea.

Declaring her candidacy for the ruling New Frontier party at a rally in Seoul, Park Geun-hye, who once described her politics as "Korean Thatcherism", promised to "create a country where no one is left behind" and break the "vicious cycle of mistrust" between North and South Korea.

Opinion polls suggest that conservative South Korea is ready to send a woman to the Blue House, the president's official residence, in December's election. A recent survey gave her a 38% approval rating, 20 points ahead of her nearest rival.

But Park, 60, and other women occupy only 10% of seats in South Korea's parliament and the proportion of working women, at just over 50%, has remained static for the past two decades.

Read the complete story at The Guardian, published 10 July 2012.

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