Monday, February 25, 2013

The full text of Park’s inaugural speech

Theme: Second Miracle on the Han (of course her father was the architect of the first Miracle on the Han).

Here the key excerpt that concerns most of us outside Korea.  I think the emphasis on trust (e.g., "trustpolitik" as outlined in her Foreign Affairs article in 2011), building trust on the basis of credible deterrence and Korean Unification is going to be interesting.  As I have mentioned it will be interesting to see what comes of her upcoming meeting with president Obama and whether the Alliance will reaffirm the commitment to Unification.

My Fellow Koreans,
Happiness can only flourish when people feel comfortable and secure. I pledge to you today that I will not tolerate any action that threatens the lives of our people and the security of our nation.  
North Korea’s recent nuclear test is a challenge to the survival and future of the Korean people, and there should be no mistake that the biggest victim will be none other than North Korea itself.  
I urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions without delay and embark on the path to peace and shared development.  
It is my sincere hope that North Korea can progress together as a responsible member of the international community instead of wasting its resources on nuclear and missile development and continuing to turn its back to the world in self-imposed isolation. 
There is no doubt that we are faced today with an extremely serious security environment but neither can we afford to remain where we are.  
Through a trust-building process on the Korean Peninsula I intend to lay the groundwork for an era of harmonious unification where all Koreans can lead more prosperous and freer lives and where their dreams can come true. 
I will move forward step-by-step on the basis of credible deterrence to build trust between the South and the North.  
Trust can be built through dialogue and by honoring promises that have already been made. It is my hope that North Korea will abide by international norms and make the right choice so that the trust-building process on the Korean Peninsula can move forward.  
The era of happiness that I envision is one that simultaneously unlocks an era of happiness on the Korean Peninsula while also contributing to ushering in an era of happiness throughout the global community.  
To ease tensions and conflicts and further spread peace and cooperation in Asia, I will work to strengthen trust with countries in the region including the United States, China, Japan, Russia and other Asian and Oceanic countries. 
Moreover, I envision a Korea that shares more deeply the travails of others while also contributing to the resolution of key global issues.

The full text of Park’s inaugural speech

Published : 2013-02-25 11:35
Updated : 2013-02-25 18:24
Following is the full text of President Park Geun-hye's inauguration address - Ed.

“Opening a New Era of Hope”

My fellow Koreans and seven million fellow compatriots overseas,

As I take office as the 18th-term President of the Republic of Korea, I stand before you today determined to open a new era of hope.

I am profoundly grateful to the Korean people for entrusting this historic mission to me. I also thank President Lee Myung-bak, former Presidents, dignitaries who have come from abroad to celebrate this occasion, and other distinguished guests for their presence.

As President of the Republic of Korea, I will live up to the will of the people by achieving economic rejuvenation, the happiness of the people, and the flourishing of our culture.

I will do my utmost to building a Republic of Korea that is prosperous and where happiness is felt by all Koreans.

Fellow citizens,

The Republic of Korea as we know it today has been built on the blood, toil, and sweat of the people.

We have written a new history of extraordinary achievement combining industrialization and democratization based on the unwavering “can do” spirit of our people and matching resolve.

The Korean saga that is often referred to as the “Miracle on the Han River” was written on the heels of our citizens who worked tirelessly in the mines of Germany, in the torrid deserts of the Middle East, in factories and laboratories where the lights were never turned off, and in the freezing frontlines safeguarding our national defense.

This miracle was only possible due to the outstanding caliber of our people and their unstinting devotion to both family and country.

I pay my heartfelt tribute to all fellow Koreans who have made the Republic of Korea what it is today.
(Continued at the link below)

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