Park sets ambitious goals for presidency

Updated 2:42 PM EST, Thu December 20, 2012

Story highlights

Park Geun-hye will become next president of South Korea

She pledged to take care of citizens in a time of economic anxiety

South Korea is a strategic Western ally and Asia's fourth-largest economy

CNN —  

Emerging from victory, Park Geun-hye who will become the next president of South Korea – the first woman for the Asian nation – pledged to “take care of our people one-by-one.”

In a speech made at the headquarters of her Saenuri political party Thursday morning, she invoked a phrase coined by her father, Park Chung-hee, who also served as president in an era when he was encouraging people to pull South Korea out of poverty.

“I would like to re-create the miracle of ‘let’s live well’ so people can worry less about their livelihood and young people can happily go to work,” said Park.

Park, 60, will assume office in February, in a country grappling with income inequality, angst over education and employment prospects for its youth, and strained relations with North Korea. South Korea is also a strategic Western ally and the fourth-largest economy in Asia.

Park won 52% of the vote, compared with 48% for her rival, Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party, according to the country’s National Election Commission.