S. Korean presidential scandal escalates amid mass protests

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Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans fill the historic Gwanghamun Square and surrounding streets in Seoul on Saturday, Nov. 19, for the fourth week in a row. They’re calling on President Park Geun-hye to resign over an influence peddling and corruption scandal involving a close friend.  Kim Gamel/Stars and Stripes
From Stripes.com
Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans fill the historic Gwanghamun Square and surrounding streets in Seoul on Saturday, Nov. 19, for the fourth week in a row. They’re calling on President Park Geun-hye to resign over an influence peddling and corruption scandal involving a close friend. Kim Gamel/Stars and Stripes

S. Korean presidential scandal escalates amid mass protests

by: Kim Gamel and Yoo Kyong Chang | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: November 21, 2016

SEOUL, South Korea — The influence-peddling scandal that has prompted calls for President Park Geun-hye to resign escalated Sunday, with prosecutors accusing her of collusion.

The president’s lawyer rejected the investigation results, calling them “imagination and conjecture.”

The dramatic developments came a day after hundreds of thousands of South Koreans poured into the streets of Seoul for the fourth weekend in a row, waving plastic candles and chanting “Park step down.”

Park is accused of letting longtime friend Choi Soon-sil — daughter of a late cult leader — wield undue influence over everything from government policies to her wardrobe choices.

Sunday’s allegations against Park came as Choi, 60, was formally indicted on charges including abuse of authority, coercion, attempted coercion and attempted fraud, according to the Yonhap news agency.

She’s suspected of using her presidential ties to persuade dozens of companies, including Samsung and Hyundai, to donate more than $65 million to two nonprofit foundations she controlled.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.440392

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