Author: Not available
China National News Monday, March 13th, 2017
Two days after the South Korean Constitutional Court formally ousted the country’s impeached first female President Park Geun-hye – regional rival North Korea mocked the leader.
On Sunday, her spokesman Kim Dong-jo said in a statement that Geun-hye left the executive mansion, the Blue House and moved to her private home in southern Seoul.
Park’s private home in the city’s iconic Gangnam district, that witnessed a high police presence, also witnessed a calm crowd of Park supporters, mostly middle-aged and elderly South Koreans, who chanted slogans like “Take back the impeachment” and “Park Geun-hye, we love you” – in support of the ousted President.
Addressing reporters from outside the ousted President’s private home, Congressman Min Kyung-wook read out a statement released by Park.
The statement said, “I apologize for not fulfilling my duties as president until the end. I thank people for trusting and protecting me. I thank people who have supported and believed in me. I will accept all the results. It will take time. but I believe that truth will definitely come out.”
The Court ruling delivered by the eight-member panel opens her up to possible criminal proceedings as part of the spiraling corruption and influence peddling scandal.
Acting Chief Justice Lee Jung-mi had said Park’s “acts of violating the constitution and law are a betrayal of the public trust.”
Park, who has already been named as a criminal suspect by prosecutors, is now South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be removed from office since democracy replaced dictatorship in the late 1980s.
Nuclear Pyongyang in cheerful mood
Meanwhile, regional rival and neighbour, North Korea cheered Geun-hye’s removal, calling it a “destructive end” for the nation’s first female head of state.
In an official statement issued on the state media, a North Korean official described Geun-hye as an “incomprehensible and outrageous lunatic.”
In a statement on North Korea’s official state news agency, KCNA, the spokesman for North Korea’s National Reconciliation Council said, “It is the consensus evaluation of the nation that the destructive end of Park Geun-hye is the historical victory of the justice of the people.”
Further adding that Park “was judged and executed by the people, not by certain political force or the opposition force. South Korean society now stands at the important crossroads of revolution. South Koreans’ anti-Park vigil has won, but this is only a beginning of the fight to realise true justice and social progress.”
Further, an editorial in the state-run media outlet, Rodong Sinmun read, “Park Geun-hye is an ignorant and uncouth dictator who squandered the taxpayer’s precious money for her own complacency and pleasure.”
The editorial ended with a question, “How pathetic is her wretched life.”
The corruption controversy involving the highest echelons of power snowballed late last year over accusations that Park colluded with close friend Choi Soon-sil to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back the president’s policy initiatives.
The scandal, that has worsened the political turmoil and the national divide in the country has seen hundreds of thousands of protesters take to the streets of Seoul for weekly demonstrations against Park over the last few months.
Subsequently, Park was indicted on December 9, after the South Korean parliament voted in favour of her impeachment by a huge 234-56 margin.
She was stripped of her powers while the constitutional court decided whether to uphold parliament’s impeachment vote.
Park has now lost presidential immunity and stands to face criminal charges over bribery, extortion and abuse of power in connection with allegations of conspiring with her friend, Choi Soon-sil.
Both women have, however, denied any wrongdoing.
Park’s ouster, however, has submerged the deeply troubled country into further darkness as it continues to face increasing threat from its rival and neighbor, North Korea and a soon threatening stance from China, that has already taken economic measures following the dispute over the installation of the THAAD anti-missile, in collaboration with the U.S.
Now, South Korea has to hold an election within 60 days to choose Park’s successor.
Kim Yong-deok, chairman of the National Election Commission has said the vote would be free and fair and held by May 9 at the latest.
Presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in has said in a statement, “History is moving forward with the great power of the people. The Republic of Korea will now restart upon this new and amazing experience.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who was appointed acting president, will remain in that post until the election.
Kyo-ahn has called for calm across the nation.