South Korea president sworn in

South Korea's new president Park Geun-hye takes the oath of office during her inauguration at the parliament in Seoul today. Photograph: Lee Jae-Won/Reuters

South Korea's new president Park Geun-hye takes the oath of office during her inauguration at the parliament in Seoul today. Photograph: Lee Jae-Won/Reuters

Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 00:00

South Korea's new president Park Geun-hye urged North Korea today to abandon its nuclear ambitions, and to stop wasting its scarce resources on arms, less than two weeks after the country carried out its third nuclear test.

In her inauguration speech, the country's first female president, also called on South Koreans to help revive the nation's export-dependent economy whose trade is threatened by
neighbouring Japan's weak yen policy.

Ms Park, the 61-year-old daughter of South Korea's former military ruler Park Chung-hee, met with the father of North Korea's current ruler in 2002 and offered the impoverished and isolated neighbour aid and trade if it abandoned its nuclear programme.

"I urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions without delay and embark on the path to peace and shared development," she said after being inaugurated today.

Ms Park, usually an austere and demure figure in her public appearances, wore an olive-drab military style jacket and lavender scarf and smiled broadly and waved enthusiastically
as a 70,000 strong crowd cheered her.

Rap sensation Psy was one of the warm up acts on an early spring day outside the country's parliament and performed his "Gagnam Style" hit, but without some of the raunchier actions.

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