The Biggest Political Crisis of S Korean President

(Original video by 장cTV@Youtube, editing and subtitle by Fan Wang)

In the week when US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was embarrassed a leak of files when further private emails were exposed, another female politician suffered a similar fate. At the end of October,  the South Korean President Park Geun-hye was forced to re-shuffle her cabinet after a protest rally which is its biggest ever held in Seoul in recent months. 

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President Park (left) and Choi (right) Photo: Vancouver Toda@Flickr

Thousands of South Korean people came to the street calling for their president Park Geun-hye to step down over a leaked document scandal. This followed an investigation conducted by South Korean media which showed President Park has allowed her close friend Choi Soon-sil, a daughter of a religious cult leader with zero political experience, to interfere in significant state affairs.

Evidence from Ms. Choi’s office suggested that she had access to a large amount of President Park’s confidential documents. She had not only drafted the president’s speeches, but also meddled in state affairs, including some related to sensitive policy issues.

“It is not unusual for South Korean presidents become unpopular towards end of their term”, says Dr Owen Miller, lecturer in Korean Studies in School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). But he believes this is different compared to previous anti-presidential feelings in this country.

This is definitely the biggest crisis in President Park’s political life. Just a week before the protest, the president made a public apology on television. But her people didn’t seem satisfied with that — her approval rating has fallen to around 10% while the protest happened, which is a record low since she took office.

To Readers:

This article was based on a radio package which was finished on Nov 2, 2016. Now the situation in South Korea has changed significantly. For further information on this, please refer to the following links.

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