80 Facts About Park Geun-hye


Park Geun-hye was the first South Korean president to be born after the founding of South Korea.


Park Geun-hye was a member of the National Assembly, serving four consecutive parliamentary terms between 1998 and 2012.


Park Geun-hye started her fifth term as a representative elected via national list in June 2012.


In 2013 and 2014, Park Geun-hye ranked 11th on the Forbes list of the world's 100 most powerful women and the most powerful woman in East Asia.


On 9 December 2016, Park Geun-hye was impeached by the National Assembly on charges related to influence peddling by her top aide, Choi Soon-sil.


Park Geun-hye was found guilty of illegally taking off-the-book funds from the National Intelligence Service and given a five-year prison sentence, and found guilty of illegally interfering in the Saenuri Party primaries in the 2016 South Korean legislative election, for which she was sentenced to two more years in prison.


Park Geun-hye was released from prison on 31 December and returned home three months later on 24 March 2022.


Park Geun-hye was born on 2 February 1952, in Samdeok-dong of Jung District, Daegu, as the first child of Park Chung-hee, the third president of South Korea, who having come to power with the May 16 military coup d'etat of 1961, served from 1963 to 1979; and his wife, First Lady Yuk Young-soo.


Park Geun-hye has a younger brother, Park Ji-man, and a younger sister, Park Geun-ryeong.


In 1953, Park Geun-hye's family moved to Seoul, where she graduated from Jangchung Elementary School and Sungshim Girls' Middle and High School in 1970, going on to receive a bachelor's degree in electronic engineering from Sogang University in 1974.


Park Geun-hye briefly studied at Joseph Fourier University in France, but left following the murder of her mother.


Park Geun-hye's mother was killed on 15 August 1974 in the National Theater of Korea; Mun Se-gwang, a Japanese-born ethnic Korean sympathizer of North Korea and member of the Chongryon, was attempting to assassinate her husband, President Park Geun-hye Chung-hee.


Park Geun-hye was regarded as First Lady until the assassination of her father by his intelligence chief, Kim Jae-gyu, on 26 October 1979.


In 2007, Park Geun-hye expressed regret at the treatment of activists during this period.


Park Geun-hye received honorary doctoral degrees from the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan in 1987, Pukyong National University and KAIST in 2008, Sogang University in 2010, and TU Dresden in 2014.


Park Geun-hye was elected a Grand National Party assemblywoman for Dalseong County in the 1998 by-election, and three more times in the same electoral district between 1998 and 2008, being the incumbent assemblywoman untill April 2012.


In 2012, Park Geun-hye announced she would not run for a constituency representative seat for the 19th election in Dalseong, but for a proportional representative position for the Saenuri Party instead, in order to lead the party's election campaign.


Park Geun-hye was elected as a proportional representative in the April 2012 election.


Park Geun-hye was appointed chairwoman of the party and led the election efforts.


On 12 February 2007, Park Geun-hye made a much-publicized visit to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.


Park Geun-hye's visit culminated in an address to a packed audience at the John F Kennedy School of Government, where she said she wanted to save Korea and advocated a stronger relationship between South Korea and the United States.


Park Geun-hye hoped to emulate her father's success by becoming the presidential nominee of the GNP.


Park Geun-hye eventually lost to Lee Myung-bak by a narrow margin.


Lee had a commanding lead at the beginning of the primary season, but Park Geun-hye was able to narrow the gap through allegations of Lee's corruption.


Park Geun-hye won the "party members' bid", but she lost the "national bid", which is a larger percentage of the total presidential bid.


Park Geun-hye's supporters argued that this was a kind of political reprisal and that they should secede from the GNP.


Park Geun-hye continually insisted that the GNP should allow the return of her supporters.


Park Geun-hye benefited from a public image of standing aloofly above the fray of politics.


In September 2011 national presidential polls, Ahn and Park Geun-hye closely competed for the status of frontrunner, with Park Geun-hye losing the top seat in some polls for the first time since 2008.


On 10 July 2012, Park Geun-hye formally announced her presidential bid at Time Square, Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul.


Park Geun-hye's conservative, market-oriented political stance was well reflected in her campaign pledge for 2008 presidential bid to cut taxes, reduce regulation, and establish strong law and order.


Since 2009 Park Geun-hye started to focus more on welfare issues, advocating customized welfare services to the Korean people.


Park Geun-hye was well known for her strict adherence to political promises.


In 2012, Park Geun-hye vowed to construct a new airport in the southeastern region, a 2008 presidential campaign promise made by GNP but cancelled in 2011, despite claims of economic infeasibility of the plan.


The administrative vision of Park Geun-hye's new government was "a new era of hope and happiness".


The Park Geun-hye administration planned to create a trustworthy, clean, and capable government by carrying out these goals, related strategies, and tasks.


Park Geun-hye chose not to vote in the 2017 South Korean presidential election.


Park Geun-hye became the 11th president of South Korea on 25 February 2013.


Park Geun-hye particularly expressed her hope that North Korea would give up its nuclear arms and walk on the path of peace and mutual development, and declared that the foundation for a happy era of unification in which all Korean people will be able to enjoy prosperity and freedom and realize their dreams would be built through the Korean Peninsula Trust-building Process.


Right after taking office, Park Geun-hye restructured the Blue House and government organization to carry out her administrative vision.


Park Geun-hye called for a strong global relationship between South Korea and the United States.


Park Geun-hye assessed the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and emphasized that deterrence capabilities were the most important factor for security.


Park Geun-hye visited the United States on her first overseas trip as president.


Park Geun-hye maintained her stance that South Korea will not succumb to the North's provocations and threats, and will endeavor to elicit policy coordination towards North Korea with major powers such as the United States, China and the UN.


Park Geun-hye said that peace and unification on the Korean peninsula is the wish of all 70 million Koreans and that as president she will do her utmost to meet such a goal.


On 13 November 2013, Park Geun-hye held an extended meeting with President Vladimir Putin, whose visit to South Korea was the first among leaders of four major powers including the United States, China, and Japan.


Park Geun-hye, especially, emphasized on making preparations to produce an outcome that corresponds to common interests by combining Korea's Eurasian Initiative and Russia's Asia-Pacific Policy.


When Park Geun-hye met with Russian Minister for the Development of Russian Far East Viktor Ishaev, who headed the Russian delegation to Park Geun-hye's inaugural ceremony, she stated that Russia is one of Korea's key strategic partners, and the successful launch of the Naro rocket is the outcome of mutually beneficial relations and demonstrates that relations will grow stronger in the future.


Park Geun-hye noted that Russia's active participation in the six-party talks will contribute to alleviating tension on the Korean Peninsula.


Park Geun-hye announced her plan to build a "Creative Economy" on 5 June 2013, representing her vision for economic revival and job creation.


On 18 May 2013, Park Geun-hye attended the 33rd anniversary of the Gwangju massacre, and expressed sorrow for the victims' family members.


On 18 May 2014, Park Geun-hye announced South Korea's "plans to break up its coastguard" after failing to respond well during the MV Sewol ferry disaster.


On 26 May 2015, Park Geun-hye urged the head of the Asian Development Bank to cooperate with South Korea and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank after South Korea had officially applied to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in late March 2015.


On 1 May 2016, Park Geun-hye became the first South Korean president to visit Iran.


Park Geun-hye was at the head of a 236-member delegation of businessmen and entrepreneurs during a three-day visit to Tehran to discuss bilateral trade and other matters of mutual interest.


Park Geun-hye met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and held talks with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.


Park Geun-hye suffered a serious setback in the 2016 general elections on 13 April 2016, as the Saenuri Party lost both its majority and its status as first party in the National Assembly.


Park Geun-hye had been criticized for her involvement in the elections and the party's nomination process, and other Saenuri members blamed the pro-Park Geun-hye faction in the party for the defeat.


The result was seen to hinder the chances of Park Geun-hye's passing her proposed economic reforms, and in the aftermath of the results the conservative The Chosun Ilbo stated that Park Geun-hye's "lame duck period has started earlier than any other administration in the past".


Park Geun-hye was arrested on 31 March 2017, and held in pre-trial detention at the Seoul Detention Center in Uiwang, Gyeonggi Province.


On 17 April 2017, Park Geun-hye was formally charged with abuse of power, bribery, coercion and leaking government secrets.


Park Geun-hye denied the charges during five rounds of interrogation while in prison.


On 24 August 2018, Park Geun-hye's sentence was increased to 25 years in prison.


On 24 December 2021, it was announced that Park Geun-hye would receive a pardon from South Korean President Moon Jae-in.


Park Geun-hye had been often criticized for being the "daughter of a dictator" and by supporters of Lee Myung-bak for not actively supporting the Lee administration.


Park Geun-hye has faced much scrutiny over an educational foundation, Jeongsoo Scholarship Foundation, formerly known as Buil, which her father, and later she, headed.


Park Geun-hye has been criticized for picking the wrong people for senior government posts.


Park Geun-hye even said the standoff of the self-lock-in was a violation of a female right in the presidential candidate debate that took place three days before the election.


Park Geun-hye has been criticized for holding press conferences with questions and answers submitted in advance.


Park Geun-hye's opponents labeled her as "No communication".


The rally was triggered by Park Geun-hye's adopting business-friendly labour policies and a decision to require middle and high schools to use only state-issued history textbooks in classes starting in 2017, combined with plans to make labour markets more flexible by giving employers more leeway in dismissing workers.


On 25 June 2015, Park Geun-hye said that "Betrayal which breaks the trust shouldn't be accepted in politics and this should be punished by election with people's own hands".


Park Geun-hye's statement was criticized by professor Jo Guk and politician Moon Jae-in because it was intended to affect Yu's election, which is forbidden by the Public Official Election Act.


In 2015, Park Geun-hye reached an agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarding the comfort women issue.


On 25 October 2016, Park Geun-hye publicly acknowledged her close ties with Choi.


Park Geun-hye then fired a number of her cabinet members and the prime minister.


The Supreme Prosecutors' Office of Korea, in laying charges against Choi and two former presidential aides, alleged that Park Geun-hye colluded with the three in certain criminal activities.


On 29 November 2016, Park Geun-hye offered to resign as president, and invited the National Assembly to arrange a transfer of power.


The opposition parties rejected the offer, accusing Park Geun-hye of attempting to avoid the process of impeachment.


Park Geun-hye was finally ousted from office by the Constitutional Court on 10 March 2017.