26 thoughts on “South Korean President Park impeached

  1. Saturday 10th December 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    Judges will decide on scandal-hit leader’s fate

    SOUTH KOREA’S parliament voted yesterday to impeach President Park Geun Hye over the scandal around her arrested confidant.

    With at least 62 members of Ms Park’s right-wing Saenuri Party siding with the opposition — almost twice as many as expected — MPs voted 234 to 56 for the motion.

    A super-majority of 200 in the 300-seat National Assembly was required for impeachment. There were nine invalid votes and abstentions and one MP was unaccounted for.

    Present for the vote were relatives of the victims of the 2014 ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people and was blamed on government incompetence and corruption. They cheered and clapped after the impeachment was announced.

    Ms Park was immediately suspended from the presidency — on full pay — and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn, a leading apologist for the disgraced leader, was appointed acting president.

    The nine-member Constitutional Court now has six months to rule on whether Ms Park should be removed from office, with a two-thirds majority needed for her impeachment to take effect.

    If that happens, new presidential elections must be held within 60 days.

    In a step reminiscent of his predecessor, Mr Hwang immediately ordered Defence Minister Han Min Koo to put the armed forces on raised alert

    in case of “provocations” by North Korea. But Pyongyang seemed oblivious as the climax to the crisis in Seoul unfolded.

    The scandal that hit the daughter of former military dictator Park Chung Hee revolves around her childhood friend Choi Soon Sil.

    She is the daughter of late cult leader Choi Tae Min, dubbed the “Korean Rasputin,” who enthralled Ms Park in her youth.

    Prosecutors allege that Ms Choi had access to privileged state documents, influenced government decisions and used her relationship to the president to wring some £55 million in “donations” from corporations including Samsung.

    Other controversies of Ms Park’s presidency included the banning of the social democratic Unified Progressive Party (UPP) in 2014 for advocating reunification with the North — on the South’s terms.

    That followed the jailing of UPP MP Lee Seok Ki for 12 years for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government if hostilities with Pyongyang broke out again.

    And this year, several leaders of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, including its president Han Sang Gyun, were sentenced to long prison terms for organising protests against Ms Park’s policies.



  2. Friday 16th December 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    SOUTH KOREA’S opposition leader said yesterday the government should reconsider the provocative deployment of US missile defence systems.

    Minjoo Party chairman Moon Jae In said the security benefits of hosting the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) anti-ballistic missile system would be outweighed by damaged relations with neighbours China and Russia.

    The decision to host the sparked vehement protests by local residents.

    Beijing and Moscow have charged that the deployment, approved by now-suspended Saenuri Party President Park Geun Hye, is aimed at neutralising their nuclear deterrents rather than defending South Korea from North Korea’s nascent nuclear arsenal.

    Mr Moon was a presidential candidate in 2012 and could run again next year if Ms Park is impeached.

    “The issue of whether or not to deploy Thaad should be pushed to the next government,” Mr Moon said.

    “I don’t think that the reconsidering of Thaad would harm the South Korea-US alliance.”



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  9. Tuesday 28th February 2017

    posted by Morning Star in World

    SOUTH KOREA’S opposition vowed to impeach the acting president yesterday, alleging he was “shielding” his disgraced boss Park Geun Hye.

    The three main opposition parties warned Prime Minister and acting president Hwang Kyo Ahn after he denied a request to extend corruption investigations into Ms Park past today’s deadline.

    Minjoo leader Choo Mi Ae — whose party is the largest in parliament — said the decision showed Mr Hwang was trying “to become Park’s shield to protect her and her associates.”

    Independent prosecutor Park Young Soo’s team asked for 30 more days to gather evidence in the case of Choi Soon Sil, Ms Park’s childhood friend and daughter of Choi Tae Min, the cult leader who held sway over Ms Park after the assassination of her dictator father and mother.

    The probe has ensnared executives in South Korea’s all-powerful chaebols — family-run corporations — which allegedly paid tens of millions of pounds to Ms Choi’s bogus charities.

    Among them is Samsung heir and vice-chairman Lee Jae Yon.

    Mr Hwang’s office said it had rejected the request as the team has already indicted key implicated figures, adding that state prosecutors can look into any possible remaining areas of the scandal.

    But his spokesman Hong Kwon Heui told reporters that a longer investigation could influence the presidential election that would result if the Constitutional Court approves Ms Park’s permanent removal from office.

    Investigation team spokesman Lee Ky Chul called Mr Hwang’s decision “very regrettable.”

    The court is expected to rule in the case next month, and Mr Hwang is among those tipped as a presidential candidate for Ms Park’s conservative Liberty Party — after former UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon ruled himself out.

    Impeaching Mr Hwang would only require a simple majority, which the opposition parties have between them.

    Ms Park was suspended on December 9 by a vote of 234 in the 300-seat parliament, well over the two-thirds majority required after at least 62 of her MPs voted with the opposition.

    That followed weeks of protests numbering up to a million people, including members of trade unions whose leaders have been jailed under Ms Park’s regime.



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  11. Moon chosen by Democratic Party

    SOUTH KOREA: Opposition leader Moon Jae Win, who advocates improved ties with North Korea, was chosen as the Democratic Party’s candidate to succeed ousted president Park Geun Hye.

    His nomination boosts his status as frontrunner in the May 9 election, triggered after Ms Park was removed from office over corruption allegations.

    Mr Moon, who lost the 2012 presidential election to Ms Park, has called her hard-line policy toward North Korea a failure.



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  24. SOUTH KOREA: Former president Park Geun Hye received an additional eight-year sentence yesterday on corruption charges, added to the 24 years she is already serving.

    Ms Park received a six-year sentence for illegally accepting funds from intelligence services and two years for interfering with elections.

    She was jailed for 24 years in April after being convicted of abuse of power and coercion.



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