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Can S Korea’s first female president bring "happiness" to her country?


16:53, February 27, 2013

Park Geun-hye, South Korea's new president was sworn in as the first female president in the history of the country on Feb. 25. In her inaugural speech, Park emphasized the need to open a new era of "national happiness" and create "the second miracle on the Han River".

In regard to North-South Korean relations, she said the new government will march ahead step by step for the accumulation of mutual trust based on reliable deterrence. Liu Yandong, member of the State Council and special representative of President Hu Jintao and General Secretary Xi Jinping, met Park in Seoul and attended her inauguration ceremony.

"Happiness" is more important than growth

In her inaugural speech, Park proposed three goals for the next five years: economic revitalization, national happiness, and cultural prosperity. She said that in order to revive the economy, the South Korean government will promote the two major initiatives of "creation-based economy" and "democratized economy".

"Creation-based economic" refers to the new economy where creation is carried out on the critical line between industries by fusing the industry with science and technology and with culture, which have some similarities to the concept of the "knowledge-based economy". At the same time, Park said "for the real development of creation-based economy, the economy must be democratized."

These initiatives of Park’s government are closely related to the current domestic and international situations facing South Korea. In recent years, South Korea's economic growth declined, unemployment population rose, and polarization expanded. Its new government must come up with strategies regarding these issues. Meanwhile, these initiatives are also a "prescription" for the active economic transformation of South Korea.

Policies toward the DPRK are constrained

Park said the DPRK must recognize that the nuclear tests are a challenge to the nation's survival and future, and the biggest victim will be itself. The DPRK must abandon its nuclear program as soon as possible and embark on the path of peace and common development. Park stressed that South Korea is faced with extremely serious security situation at present but it cannot stick in the mud. She hopes the DPRK could comply with the guidelines of the international community, make the right choice, and promote the "confidence-building process of the Korean Peninsula".

Continuation of "balanced diplomacy"

Park’s new government is still faced with many challenges. First is South Korea's domestic political strife. The major forces have existed in long-term in South Korea, respectively the conservative force, represented by the New Frontier Party; and the progressive force, represented by the Democratic United Party, which are incompatible like fire and water. The two sides are carrying out fierce wrestling around the government reshuffle program proposed by Park. Having won the election on a thin majority of 51.6 percent, Park must now face the tasks of harnessing the disputes between the ruling and opposition parties and realizing national unity.

Read the Chinese version at: <a href='' target='_blank'><font color='#0000ff'>史上首位女总统能否带给韩国“幸福”</font></a>; Source:Jiefang Daily; Author:Wang Shaozhe

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