Park Geun-hye has become the eleventh President of South Korea as well as the first woman to be elected as President in the country.
She has been the chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP), now the Saenuri Party, between 2004 and 2006 and between 2011 and 2012.
She has also been a member of the Korean National Assembly, and had served four consecutive parliamentary terms as a constituency representative.
She pledges to secure South Korea against the threat of an increasingly hostile North Korea at the same time as mending bridges with Pyongyang.
“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," she said. “I urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions without delay and embark on the path to peace and shared development."
"I will move forward step-by-step on the basis of credible deterrence to build trust between the South and the North," she added.
Her father, Park Chung-hee, was one of the founders of modern Korea who took power after a coup d’état and ruled heavy-handedly for 18 years before being shot dead by his intelligence chief in 1979. She has however, apologized for human rights violations during his rule. But his legacy still haunts her profile.
She visited the North Korean capital in 2002 and met with its late leader Kim Jong Il. Since then, his son Kim Jong Un has taken over in Pyongyang, continuing a policy of defiant work on the country's budding nuclear program, including a test earlier this month that drew widespread international condemnation.
There is much on her plate. The elder Park's 18-year rule from 1961 to 1979 helped transform South Korea's from a war-torn backwater into an export powerhouse.
She campaigned on a platform of "economic democratization", better regulation and more welfare spending and has tacked back to the right in recent days with a more conciliatory tone towards business.
She promised growth and job creation through innovation and investment in science and technology. It is time for her to deliver.
The benchmark KOSPI index of core South Korean stocks, has been trading at a 200-day moving average of 1,924.41 points.