Thousands call on South Korea's president to quit

2016-11-05 22:35
South Korean protesters shout slogans during a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down. (Ahn Young-joon, AP)

South Korean protesters shout slogans during a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down. (Ahn Young-joon, AP)

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Seoul - Tens of thousands of South Koreans poured into the streets of downtown Seoul on Saturday, using words including "treason" and "criminal" to demand that President Park Geun-hye step down amid an explosive political scandal.

The protest, the largest anti-government demonstration in the capital in nearly a year, came a day after Park apologised on live television amid rising suspicion that she allowed a mysterious confidante to manipulate power from the shadows.

Holding banners, candles and colourful signs that read "Park Geun-hye out" and "Treason by a secret government," a sea of demonstrators filled a large square in front of an old palace gate and the nearby streets, singing and thunderously applauding speeches calling for the removal of the increasingly unpopular president.

They then shifted into a slow march in streets around City Hall, shouting "Arrest Park Geun-hye," ''Step down, criminal" and "We can't take this any longer," before moving back to the square and cheering on more speeches that continued into the night.

Earlier in the week, prosecutors arrested Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a late cult leader and a longtime friend of Park and detained two former presidential aides over allegations that they pressured businesses into giving $70m to two foundations Choi controlled.

There are also allegations that Choi, despite having no government job, regularly received classified information and meddled in various state affairs, including the appointment of ministers and policy decisions.


Read more on:    park geun-hye  |  south korea

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