Park Geun-hye achieved a historic victory in South Korea, becoming the first woman president in the country’s history. Park is a member of Korea’s National Assembly and leader of the conservative Saenuri Party, as well as the daughter of previous President Park Chung-hee. Many first came to know her dignified resolve when she served as Korea’s first lady after the tragic murder of her mother by a North Korean assassin.
Since entering public office, she has been an advocate for pragmatic engagement with North Korea while upholding the defense of her country. She met with previous North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and recently described a policy of trustpolitik to energize inter-Korean relations. Park’s victory is an acknowledgement by the Korean people of the need for her stalwart leadership during troubled times.
Earlier this week, Shinzo Abe led the conservative Liberal Democratic Party to success in Japan’s lower house election. Former Prime Minister Abe will return to lead his country as it faces challenges from an ever assertive China and a troubled economy exacerbated by last year’s triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis.
The results of the Korean and Japanese elections show the two nations recognize the need for strong conservative principles to address growing security challenges and to lead the way for pragmatic economic solutions.
Park and Abe are close friends of The Heritage Foundation. Both have visited Heritage in the past to articulate their vision for the future of their countries and we look forward to welcoming them again in the future.