Park Geun-hye Timeline
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Park Geun-hye Timeline

    Park Geun-hye is the 11th President of South Korea and the first woman to lead the country. No stranger to political life, her father Park Chung-hee was the 3rd president.

    Park was sworn in in February 2013, and she was then ranked 11th on the Forbes list of the world's most powerful women.

    But a year after taking office, her administration was rocked for its handling of the deadly Sewol ferry accident that killed 295 people. Nine others have never been found. Many of the victims were students on a high school trip.

    Park apologized for failing to prevent the accident, and for her poor initial response, but public criticism of her government grew.

    On the diplomatic front, her administration courted China. Park attended a military parade in Beijing commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

    She held the first official summit with Japan after more than 2 years, welcoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Seoul.

    The 2 governments then reached an agreement on the issue of those referred to as comfort women. Japan agreed to provide about 9.2 million dollars to a foundation that supports the women, and to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the matter.

    But not all was calm in the region. North Korea's repeated missile launches and nuclear tests increased the strain on relations between Seoul and Pyongyang.

    Park took a tough stance against the provocations. South Korea halted operations of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a symbolic joint venture between the 2 Koreas.

    South Korea also agreed with the US to deploy an advanced anti-missile system, known as THAAD, to South Korea. The move drew strong criticism, not only from the North but also from China.

    And on home soil, there were also growing challenges. Park's ruling party lost its parliamentary majority in a general election this past spring. And her standing weakened rapidly after the unexpected loss.

    The biggest threat against her presidency came in late October. Park apologized to the people of her nation amid claims of influence peddling. She took personal responsibility for the scandal, and she vowed to cooperate with any investigation.

    But the public's persistent calls for her resignation haven't stopped.