(New York Times) Her mother was shot by an assassin. Her father, a staunchly anti-Communist dictator, was similarly killed. And she survived a vicious razor attack to the face.

Nobody doubts the toughness of South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-hye, whose upbringing has made her as steely a leader as they come. Now at the center of an escalating crisis with North Korea, Ms. Park, 61, is her country’s first-ever female leader, a fact that her rivals in the North have raised to taunt her.

Stories of her mental toughness are legend …

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