Thousands in South Korea call for President to quit
Tens of thousands of South Koreans poured into the streets of downtown Seoul on Saturday, using words including ‘treason’ and ‘criminal’ to demand that President Park Geunhye step down amid an explosive political scandal.
The protest, the largest antigovernment demonstration in the capital in nearly a year, came a day after Park apologised on live television amid rising suspicion that she allowed a mysterious confidante to manipulate power from the shadows.
Holding banners, candles and colorful signs that read ‘Park Geun-hye out’’ and ‘Treason by a secret government’, the demonstrators, including many students, packed a large square in front of an old palace gate and the nearby streets, singing and thunderously applauding speeches calling for the ouster of the increasingly unpopular president. They then shifted into a slow march toward the streets around City Hall, shouting ‘Arrest Park Geun-hye’, ‘Step down, criminal’ and ‘We can’t take this any longer’. “Park should squarely face the prosecution’s investigation and step down herself.
“If she doesn’t, politicians should move to impeach her,’’ said Kim Seo-yeon, a college student who participated in the march.
“She absolutely lost all authority as president over the past few weeks,’’ he said.
Earlier in the week, prosecutors arrested Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a late cult leader and a longtime friend of Park, and detained two former presidential aides over allegations that they pressured businesses into giving US$70 million (F$143.25m) to two foundations Choi controlled.