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(LEAD) (Election) Park thanks supporters in emotional speech
(ATTN: CHANGES headline; UPDATES throughout with Park's remarks)
SEOUL, Dec. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's president-elect, Park Geun-hye, thanked her supporters in a speech late Wednesday after winning a tightly contested race against opposition rival Moon Jae-in.

   "I will become a president of the people's livelihoods who keeps her promises to the people and open an era in which the people are happy," Park told a rally in Gwanghwamun in the center of Seoul, the capital.

   The 60-year-old conservative candidate of the ruling Saenuri Party thanked her supporters for the trust they showed her on the campaign trail.


"This election was a victory for you, the people," she said. "I promised three main things during my campaign: to become a president of the people's livelihoods, a president who keeps promises, and a president who achieves grand unity. I will keep those promises for sure."

   With over 90 percent of the vote counted, Park won 51.6 percent of the vote against Moon's 48 percent. National election officials said the remaining vote to be counted won't affect Park's victory.

   Park is a daughter of the late authoritarian president, Park Chung-hee, who ruled the country with an iron fist for 18 years until he was assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979. Her mother had also been killed five years earlier by a pro-North Korean who aimed at his father.

   When asked during the nationally televised speech whom she wanted to meet the most at that moment, Park said she wanted to meet all the supporters she met during her campaign.

   "There were difficulties along the way, but I would like to once again meet those people who held my hands at markets and those who waited long hours to give me their confidence and trust even in the cold weather," she said. "Those were the happiest moments."