Dig­ger stunt as emo­tions high in Korea

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

South Korean po­lice have de­tained a man who rammed a large ex­ca­va­tor into a gate yes­ter­day near the of­fice where pros­e­cu­tors ques­tioned a woman at the cen­tre of a scan­dal that threat­ens the coun­try’s pres­i­dent. The woman had ear­lier said she “de­serves death” and the de­tained man said he “came here to help her die”.

The at­tack is part of a frenzy of emo­tion in South Korea over the woman, Choi Soon-sil, whom pros­e­cu­tors have de­tained as they ex­am­ine whether she used her close ties to Pres­i­dent Park Ge­un­hye to pull gov­ern­ment strings from the shad­ows and amass an il­licit for­tune.

Pros­e­cu­tors are ex­pected to quickly seek an ar­rest war­rant for Choi, who was swarmed on Mon­day by hun­dreds of jour­nal­ists and pro­test­ers as she tried to en­ter the pros­e­cu­tion of­fice.

Choi, a cult leader’s daugh­ter with a decades-long con­nec­tion to Park, was nearly knocked off her feet sev­eral times as the crowd closed in on her. Pro­test­ers screamed for her ar­rest and Park’s res­ig­na­tion; one an­gry per­son re­port­edly tried to en­ter the build­ing with a bucket full of an­i­mal fae­ces; and Choi, 60, lost her Prada shoe in the scrum.

So­cial me­dia is now awash with images of the dis­carded black footwear and the word, “Soon­derella,” a com­bi­na­tion of parts of Choi’s name and the girl from the fairy tale who leaves be­hind a glass slip­per at a ball.

The man ac­cused of run­ning his big yel­low ex­ca­va­tor (pic­tured) into the pros­e­cu­tion of­fice near where Choi had been in­ves­ti­gated later told of­fi­cials that “since Choi Soon-sil said she com­mit­ted a sin that de­serves death, I came here to help her die”, ac­cord­ing to po­lice of­fi­cer Han Je­ung-sub. The man de­tained was iden­ti­fied as a 45-year-old sur­named Jeong.

It wasn’t known if Choi was at the Seoul of­fice at the time of the ram­ming, which in­jured a se­cu­rity guard and dam­aged the gate and other fa­cil­i­ties.

Last week, amid in­tense spec­u­la­tion, Park ac­knowl­edged Choi had edited some of her speeches and pro­vided pub­lic re­la­tions help. Wide­spread re­ports have said Choi had a larger role in gov­ern­ment af­fairs de­spite hav­ing no of­fi­cial ties to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tors are try­ing to de­ter­mine the scope of ac­cess Choi had and whether she was given sen­si­tive pres­i­den­tial doc­u­ments. Choi has pre­vi­ously said she helped Park but didn’t know if she was see­ing confidential in­for­ma­tion.

Other re­ports have con­tained al­le­ga­tions she mis­used money from non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions.

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