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Thousands of South Koreans rally in Seoul, calling for embattled president to go


South Korea

Thousands of South Koreans rally in Seoul, calling for embattled president to go

Tens of thousands of South Koreans have joined a candle-lit rally in Seoul, calling on the country’s embattled president to go.

Park Geun-hye has been rocked by a scandal involving an old friend, who’s alleged to have used her closeness to meddle in state affairs.

The president’s made a tearful apology, saying her “heart was breaking” – and has pledged to cooperate with prosecutors in their investigation.

“There is even talk that I fell into a cult or I held a shamanistic ritual at the Blue House. I am saying clearly: none of this is true,” she said.

The lawyer for Park’s long-time friend, Choi Soon-sil, says he expects prosecutors to probe whether she inappropriately received classified documents – and benefitted unlawfully from two non-profit organisations.

Koreans are angry, claiming Park has betrayed public trust and mismanaged her government.

Park has sacked many of her immediate advisers over the crisis. A former aide was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of leaking classified information, according to a prosecution official.

No South Korean president has ever failed to finish their five-year term, but Park has faced growing pressure from the public and political opponents to quit.

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