Memory Wars and Prospects for Reconciliation in South Korea

Authored by: Don Baker

Routledge Handbook of Memory and Reconciliation in East Asia

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415835138
eBook ISBN: 9780203740323
Adobe ISBN: 9781135009212


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In December 2012, Park Geun-hye was elected president of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Her election was noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First of all, she became the first woman ever to serve as the president of Korea. Second, she is the first child of a previous president of the ROK to rise to the same high office. Those two departures from tradition are related. It is highly unlikely that the voters of South Korea would have chosen Park to be their next president if she had not been cloaked in the aura of her father’s economic record. Park Chung Hee took the ROK from poverty to prosperity over the eighteen years he was in charge, and the majority of voters clearly hoped his daughter could be equally effective in managing the economy.

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