Presidential hopeful Park Geun-hye, the daughter of South Korea's former leader Park Chung-hee, has apologised for human rights violations committed during her father's rule.
Ms Park is the ruling party candidate for presidential elections in December.
Her father seized power in a military coup in 1961 and ruled until he was assassinated by his spy chief in 1979.
He boosted the economy but was accused of ruthlessly crushing dissent, delaying democratic development, the BBC reports.
Ms Park, 60, secured the ruling party nomination for the polls last month, marking the first time a woman has been chosen as a presidential candidate by one of South Korea's main political parties.
But she has been battling her father's legacy since the very beginning of her presidential campaign, says the BBC's correspondent in Seoul.