Park Geunhye (Hangul: 박근혜; Hanja: 朴槿惠; born 2 February 1952) is a South Korean politician. She was the chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP) between 2004 and 2006 and between 2011 and 2012 (the GNP changed its name to "Saenuri Party" in February 2012). Park is a member of the Korean National Assembly who had served four consecutive parliamentary terms as a constituency representative between 1998 and 2012, and started her fifth term as a proportional representative from June 2012. Her father was Park Chung-hee, president of South Korea from 1963 to 1979. She is considered the most influential politician in Korea since the "three Kims" (Kim Young Sam, Kim Dae-jung, and Kim Jong-pil). She won the election on December 19, 2012, and is now the first woman president of Korea.
Family and education
Park was born on 2 February 1952, in Samdeok-dong of Jung-gu, Daegu, as the first child of Park Chung-hee, president and dictator of South Korea between 1963 and 1979 and Yuk Young-soo. She has a younger brother, Park Ji-man, and a younger sister, Park Seoyeong. Park has never been married. Park Graduated from Seoul's Seongsim High School in 1970, going on to receive a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Sogang University in 1974. She received honorary doctoral degrees from Chinese Culture University in Taiwan in 1987, Pukyong National University and KAIST in 2008, and Sogang University in 2010.
First Lady - as the President's daughter after her mother's murder
Park lost her mother to Mun Se-gwang, a Japanese-born Korean assassin, a member of General Association of Korean Residents in Japan under the command of the North Korean government in the National Theater of Korea, Seoul on 15 August 1974. Since then, she was regarded as first lady until 1979 when her father was also assassinated by his own intelligence chief, Gim Jaegyu, on 26 October 1979. During this time, activists who were political opponents of her father were claimed to be subject to arbitrary detention, and human rights were considered subordinate to economic development. In 2007 Park Geunhye has expressed regret at the treatment of activists during this period.