In May 16, 1961, Park Chung-hee
ended the Second Republic of South Korea by military coup. On December 18, 2012, his daughter, Park Geun-hye
, became South Korea's president by democratic election under the Saenuri
party against human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in, of the DUP
Although Park Chung-hee would eventually get shot by his own intelligence director at a banquet, many South Koreans (especially from Yeongnam, where he was born) say that his economic effect on South Korea was not insignificant. He was one of the largest factors in leading to the chaebol
megacorporation system and Korea's export-led development.
Park Geun-hye started her political career as an assemblywoman in the National Assembly. She tried for a presidential bid five years ago (presidents are elected every five years for one term) but was defeated in the Saenuri party primaries by Lee Myung-bak five years ago. Somehow, Saenuri remains in power, despite Lee-Myung-bak being "as popular as gout"
Compared to last election, which was a 45%-25% blowout for Lee Myung-Bak, this election was much more of a close thing. Voter turnout was 75.8%
On North Korea, she remains an advocate on the Sunshine Policy
says that the issues were not as important as the identity politics, with Park as a "princess" and Moon as "the common man". I'm not quite sure where they got that: Moon was chief of staff of Roh Moo-hyun
Results were very divided by region
(note: Korean link, Google Translate gets pretty bad). Seoul went Moon 52.2%-Park 47.5%. Incheon went Moon 50.6%-Park 49.0%. Gyeonggi province as a whole - with 48% of the Korean population - went Moon 50.9% and Park 48.8%. But Daegu went Park 79.9% to Moon 19.9%, and Gyeongbuk Province, which surrounds it, went 82.1% Park vs. 17.7% Moon. Park also had a fair advantage in Busan (60.3% vs. 39.5%) and Ulsan(59.9% vs. 39.9%). Jeju went for Park 51.8% vs. 47.9%. In other words, Korea is politically just as regionally split as ever.