South Korea’s first female president, Park Geun-hye, was sworn in Monday. Her election was an historic event for a country where women earn forty percent less than men, and women’s groups hope that Park’s presidency will include many advances in gender equity. She has nominated two women for Cabinet posts so far.
The current priority for the president is dealing with North Korea’s atomic February 12th detonation test. Park recently denounced the test as “a challenge to the survival and future of the Korean people” and urged Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, to shift its efforts from violence to peace. In a speech she stated that North Korea poses an immense threat to itself first and foremost with its testing of atomic and nuclear technology. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [North Korea]stated that the February 12th test was meant to make South Korea and its American allies think twice before attempting to control the DPRK. Park has promised firm reform in relations with North Korea. World powers are waiting to see if Park will pursue a more aggressive policy with North Korea than her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak.