SEOUL: Park Geun-Hye was sworn in as South Korea’s first female president today, vowing zero tolerance with provocation from North Korea and demanding Pyongyang ‘abandon its nuclear ambitions’ immediately.
As leader of Asia’s fourth-largest economy, Park, the 61-year-old daughter of a military strongman, faces challenges including slowing growth and soaring welfare costs in one of the world’s most rapidly ageing societies.
Taking the oath of office before 70,000 people in front of the National Assembly building in Seoul, Park called on North Korea to ‘abandon its nuclear ambitions without delay’ and rejoin the international community.
The North carried out its third nuclear test earlier this month, triggering global condemnation and the threat of toughened sanctions from the UN Security Council.
Park took office a little more than 50 years after her father, South Korea’s late dictator and vehement anti-communist Park Chung-Hee, seized power in a military coup.