(Vatican Radio) Voters picked Park Gyeun-hye, daughter of the military ruler who led
South Korea during its economic transformation following the Korean war. In campaign
rallies like this one, Park promised economic growth, citing Britain's Margaret
Thatcher and Germany's Angela Merkel as role models.
But in a heavily male-dominated
society, Park also drew on maternal images to describe how South Korea might be under
its first female president
There were long lines of voters outside some polling
stations: The election saw an unusually high turnout, greater than 75 percent.
reflected the polarising effect of the two candidates: conservative Park was derided
by the left-wing as too establishmentarian, and her liberal challenger, who pledged
to shake up government and industry, was seen as a dangerous choice by many conservatives.
new president will have to face not just faltering economic growth but also widening
income disparity and the ever-present threat of North Korea.
Park has said
she will talk to North Korea but wants it to give up its nuclear programme as a precondition
for aid. Listen to this report by Alastair Wanklyn.