South Korea’s president fights impeachment and other demons

OVER the past two months, as the weekly candlelit protests along Sejongno, Seoul’s main boulevard, swelled from a few thousand participants to 2m, the calls bouncing off the high-rises for Park Geun-hye to step down are said to have become audible even in the Blue House, the president’s official residence and office, a short distance to the north, where Ms Park had cloistered herself away. The protests look set to continue, despite Ms Park’s impeachment by the National Assembly on December 9th. The Constitutional Court has six months to rule on her fate. While she waits, Ms Park has been stripped of her powers. But the protesters will not be satisfied until she is gone for good.

Aspects of Ms Park’s downfall verge on soap opera. The president, by her own admission, has long been close to a woman, Choi Soon-sil, who seems to have dictated or at the least influenced her decisions on everything from handbags to affairs of state. Ms Choi has been indicted on charges of extortion, abuse of power and possession of classified documents. Of particular outrage to ordinary Koreans are accusations that she secured educational preferment for her daughter and...Continue reading

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