South Korean President Lee Myung-bak gave his final New Years message in which he called on the country to rally behind the president elect. He believes that would be the first step towards easing tensions with North Korea leading eventually to a united Korean peninsula. “While safeguarding peace on the Korean Peninsula with watertight security, I hope the quiet movement for change that started in the hearts and lives of North Korean people will turn into big waves overflowing with energy for the unification of the Korean Peninsula,” he said. Park Guen-hye will become the country’s first female president when she takes office in February. Her mother was shot dead by a North Korean’s assassin’s bullet intended for her father the then president Park Chung-hee. How will that affect relationships with the North? Tension was increased earlier this month after Pyongyang went ahead with a long range rocket launch which it insists was to put a satellite into orbit. South Korea along with several other nations claimed the launch was cover for a banned ballistic missile test.