Live at Saenuri HeadquartersUpdated: 2012-12-20 (KST)
The verdict is out.
It's confirmed Korea will be inaugurating its first female president in February.
The ruling Saenuri Party presidential hopeful Park Geun-hye is now President-elect after winning a tightly contested election against her liberal rival, Moon Jae-in.
To express her apperciation to her supporters and top aides, Park visited the campaign headquarters just about an hour ago, and our political correspondent, Lee Ji-yoon joins us from the scene to tell us more.
Ji-yoon, describe the atmostphere there for us.
[Reporter : ] You can definitely sense a growing excitement here at the ruling party headquarters as major broadcasting stations, KBS and SBS both reported that Park Geun-hye is getting closer to victory.
KBS predicted that Park would end up receiving around 53 percent of the total votes and Moon with 47 percent.
SBS predicted similar results.
Earlier, the Saenuri Party officials and spokespersons were careful as to not over-analyze the mixed results seen from the exit polls announced at 6 p.m. saying that although they're not 100 percent confident for victory, they are relieved to see Park leading in two out of the three exit polls.
So now, as the votes continue to be counted and Park is currently leading in several of the key battlegrounds, the mood here is definitely brighter and more cheerful than before.
The party leadership is hoping that Park will continue her lead throughout the night.
What significance does her victory mean for Korea[Reporter : ] She cast her vote early in the morning today and spoke to reporters at the scene,. thanking the public for their support during her 22-day campaign.
After she did that, she headed home to rest.
She WAS expected to show up at the Saenuri Party headquarters a little after the exit polls were announced at around 6:30 p.m. BUT she had change of plans and decided to stay home to watch the exit polls.
She IS expected to head over here at the headquarters pretty soon, sometime between now and 11 p.m. when we get a clearer picture of whether Park will make history as Korea's first female president.
I'll try to bring you guys more updates from the Saenuri Party headquarters throughout the night even after the final results are in and until then, back to you Ji-hae.
Ji-yoon. Thank you very much for that report.
That was our Lee Ji-yoon reporting live from the very jubilant Saenuri Party headquarters.
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