After the death of Margeret Thatcher, women’s weekly and British publication Stylist look at South Korea’s first female leader, President Park Geun-hye, featuring a very interesting article about this strong-willed lady. Shortly after she took office, she was greeted with North Korea’s threats but she stood her ground making powerful high profile speeches to declare her presence to Kim Jong-un, retaliating just as strongly when North Korea replied with threats.
Ms Park is a lady with a heavy history. She witnessed her mother’s assassination when she was just a young student which lead her to dedicating herself to helping her father and taking on the role as first lady, abandoning her dream of becoming a professor of engineering. She has never married and suffered further tragedy as her father was assassinated by his own secret service Chief. At the age of 54 she also suffered a traumatising razor blade attack where her jaw was sliced open, but upon coming out of corrective surgery, the first thing she did when she woke up was ask how the election campaign was going. This is one tough lady! But she does have a soft human side as Stylists reports: she once wrote that she might “choose death over a life like this again” when referring to [her parent’s] murder.
Stylist has written a very interesting article and worth a read for all those wanting to find out a little more about Park Geun-hye. You can see the online version of this article on the Stylist website HERE.
But what Stylist magazine has failed to mention is the rather mixed feelings of the South Korean public over this first female president. Having a female as president seems like quite a step for the seemingly more traditional and conservative South Korea but on the contrary, a lot of the younger population of South Korea feel differently and some have even feared it may mark a point where Korean democracy regresses. Park Geun-hye has already caused quite a stir with her revised “overexposure law”, globally known as the miniskirt ban.
Stylists writes that many people see Park Geun-hye as the living embodiment of her father, who is still the most popular leader the country has seen because he engineered its economic revival, yet he was also known as a dictator. Now it’s Park Geun-hye’s turn and it’ll be interesting to see her step out of her father’s shadow and see what kind of legacy she will be leaving behind as the first female President of South Korea.
A little fun fact is that Park Geun-hye’s father Park Chung-hee is the 2nd president as seen in Song Kang Ho’s film The President’s Barber.