On November 12th, Seoul was occupied by nearly a million furious protesters, which was described by CNN as the most massive scale of protest in thirty years. Apart from domestic petition for president Park Geun-hye’s resignation, South Korean scholars and students overseas are calling for the once popular elected president to step down for her wrongdoings.
How The “Shameful Scandal” Begins
Choi Soon-sil, who is Ms. Park’s close friend and secretive advisor over political decisions is now under investigation regarding her inappropriate relationship to the president and privileges throughout the years. However, it is not the solely reason that make Ms. Park the president with lowest rating in Korean history.
Ms. Choi’s father is the famous leader of a cult, which claimed to combine Christian, Catholic and Buddhist practices. He approached Ms. Park when she was mourning for her mother’s accident death, and became her mentor ever since. Both Ms. Choi and her father utilize their close relationship with Park to conduct in money laundering and abuse of power without getting arrested.
The scandal was brought under spotlight when people reported that Ms. Choi’s daughter was able to graduate without attending classes and completing examinations in the renowned Ewha Womans University. What’s more, she bragged about her grandfather having close relationship with the president. More news later are also disclosed to public regarding Ms. Choi and her influence to president Park, who is dubbed the “puppet” under control.
Controversies of Park’s Presidency
The reasons that drove tens of thousands or people onto the streets are the discontent over corruption and policies of the government since Ms. Park’s presidency. Ms. Park admit that she listened to Ms. Choi’s advice for important speeches including inauguration ceremony. News channel report that Ms. Choi even suggest Ms. Park on what to wear according to astrological system. Moreover, serious corruption is involved as well. Over sixty big corporations in South Korea are said to “donate” billions of money to Ms. Choi’s corporations, which eventually falls into her pocket. Large government subsidized corporations such as Hyundai Samsung and LG also participate such illegal cash transactions.
During the ongoing protests, students are the one of the main participants. They go on the street to express their rage towards Ms. Park and the society. In fact, exposure of the scandal may just be the last straw. Their anger is accumulated since the president failed to handle the tragedy Sewell ferry sinking wisely and instantly, along with other inappropriate policies. Although Ms. Park has apologized two times publically since the protests starts, it fails to calm people’s anger. There is still uncertainty in future of South Korea. However, the one thing we can be sure is that people’s voices are heard this time.