Impeached South Korean President Park arrested

Impeached South Korean President Park arrested

31/03/17

Sam Deave, Corporate Services Manager

The impeached South Korean President, Park Geun-hye, was yesterday arrested over a corruption scandal that led to her ousting. She has denied the allegations of allowing her close friend, Choi Soon-sil to extort money from companies in return for political favours. The scandal also ensnared senior government officials and business figures, including the acting head of Samsung, who has also denied bribery and corruption in his ongoing trial.

Parliament voted to impeach Park back in December, which lost her presidential immunity. She had been in position since 2013. As the daughter of a South Korean dictator, she was the first democratically elected leader to be ousted in South Korea, though others have been impeached and later reinstated.

An election will now be held on 9 May. Protestors hope that it will heard a fresh start for the country. The focus again on the political influence enjoyed by the most powerful figures in South Korea’s family-run conglomerates, or chaebol is taking precedence. But at a time of increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula and in the wider Asia-Pacific, campaigns need to focus on international as well as domestic issues. Currently the opposition, Liberal candidate Moon Jae-in, who lost to Park in 2012, is leading in the polls.

On 11 May, just two days after the elections, the British Ambassador to South Korea, Charles Hay, will join Asia House to give his insights on the future of the political environment in the country in the light of the new President. More information on the event here