Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
‘Rasputin’ has South Korean president cornered
South Korea is in the grip of a political scandal involving President Park Geun-hye. A confidant of Park seems, like a Rasputin, to play the lead role in stories about corruption and nepotism. The tragic past of the president is raked up: her father, the dictator, her murdered mother and the unhealthy influence of a cult leader.
Everyone in Korea wants to know how much influence Choi Soon-sil has had exactly on the president. She, as confidant of the head of state, certainly was sent speeches by the president to rewrite and probably had access to classified material. Also, she probably arranged a good university education for Park’s daughter.
There are also allegations that she used her association with Park to extort money from businesses. Two foundations are said to have raked in 60 million euros this way. Police have raided Choi and Park to collect the evidence.
There are also rumors that Choi used Park’s expensive clothing budget for herself and left third-rate clothing for the president.
Choi returned yesterday from Germany back to Seoul. When she went today to talk to the prosecutors, she was confronted by the press and demonstrators. “I’m sorry, please forgive me,” she said emotionally, trying to stay upright in the crowd. “My sin is worthy of death.” She lost a shoe in the melee.
Last week, Park offered apologies to all because of her relationship with Choi. At a public apology she said Choi “had helped me during a difficult time in my life”.
The relationship between Park and Choi goes back to the 1970s, when Park’s father was dictator of South Korea
Before Park Chung-hee was dictator of South Korea, while Korea was a colony of Japan, he was an officer in the Japanese occupation army, in charge of suppressing anti-colonialist Koreans.
and Choi’s father a cult leader.
The Church of Eternal Life seems also to have branches in the USA (or else, they are other organisations with the same name). One says about itself:
The Church of Eternal Life is a Spiritualist church and affiliated with the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC). It is located in Westville, New Jersey. Our church holds a worship, healing and message service every Sunday at 11:00 AM.
See also here.
The NOS article continues:
Choi Tae-min’s influence only grew after Park’s father was shot dead as well in 1979. Choi’s father died in 1994, but Park Geun-hye was in 2012 still good friends with his daughter Choi Soon-sil when she became president of South Korea.
Now that it has become clear how much of a power Choi was behind the scenes, opposition parties demand an investigation. 12,000 protesters demonstrated yesterday in Seoul with signs like “Who is the real president?” and “Park should resign.”
Park now has sacked ten of her closest associates, but the opposition is not satisfied with that. “I wonder how long it will take before Park’s own head must roll,” says correspondent Marieke de Vries.
“The Koreans are somewhat accustomed to unusual things. Their society depends on all sorts of contacts and large corporations call the tune with a revolving door between business and politics. But this really is superlative. That Choi seems to have had so much influence, even for the Koreans is a step further than they are used to.”
This video says about itself:
Mass demonstration held in Seoul over Choi Soon-sil scandal
29 October 2016
We start tonight with the response to the power abuse scandal that has sent shockwaves through Korea.
The nation’s rival parties have offered mixed reactions to the president’s decision Friday to order all of her senior presidential secretaries to resign… amid the public uproar over the alleged influence of her long-time friend on state affairs.
The opposition parties say the president’s move falls short of the mark.
It comes as public demonstrations have been taking place in central Seoul and in other parts of the nation this evening. …
In central Seoul on Saturday,… an estimated 30-thousand citizens joined a mass demonstration,… jointly organized by several civic groups.
Walking up Seoul’s Cheonggye Plaza to Gwanghwamun Square,… they called on the top office to reveal the truth about the allegations,.. and chanted slogans,… demanding the president step down.
More than two dozen university student councils and professors have also issued statements condemning the Park Geun-hye administration,… and demanding it reveal the whole truth.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s administration has been thrown into turmoil by a series of scandals that last week forced her to remove key secretariat officials. Protests have also broken out, with demonstrators demanding she resign or be impeached. According to media polls, the president’s approval rating has fallen to its lowest level since coming to office in February 2013: here.