11/12/2016, 11.42
SOUTH KOREA
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Seoul, tens of thousands protest against Park: "Resign"

The largest mass demonstration since the 1990s, the third in a few days. Her relationship with Choi Soon-sil, the "Rasputin of Korea" under accusation. People have come from all over the country. A torchlight procession to the Blue House.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Tens of thousands of people are marching today through the streets of Seoul demanding the resignation of President Park Gun-hye, pilloried for her relations with Choi Soon-sil, the "Rasputin of Korea" .

This is the third event in a few days against the leader and the police expect at least 170 thousand people. According to the organizers the number of protesters will come to one million, which would make the march the largest since the 1990s in South Korea.

The political scandal that is sweeping the Park derives from her relationship with Choi Soon-sil, who was arrested last week on charges that she had influenced the president editing her speeches and advising outside of any official channel. The woman would have advised the president on the recruitment of people in the government and used her influence over Park in order to receive funds from Korean companies, appropriating money intended for nonprofit organizations.

Choi Soon-sil, 60, is a friend of the 70 year old Park. Her father, Choi Tae-min, now deceased, was an ambiguous character. First a Buddhist monk, then Christian pastor, then leader of a Church of Eternal Life, he met and comforted Park after the murder of her mother, the wife of the dictator Park Chung-hee, who was killed in 1974.

Park has apologized several times with the nation for having "placed too much faith in personal relationships and not carefully controlling what was happening." The president said that those who are guilty will be punished, but the public does not seem satisfied and wants her resignation.

"I am here to ask for the removal of Park Geun-hye - says Cho Ki Mang, one of the demonstrators -, her apologies are worthless and she should leave." Thousands of people have traveled hundreds of kilometers from all over the country to participate in the march. This began at 4 pm (local time) with a torchlight procession starting from Seoul City Hall and headed for the Blue House, the presidential residence.

Many Korean analysts think that the Park will be able to complete the final year of  her mandate of his presidency. The parliamentary opposition, in fact, have not yet called for her resignation, seeming more interested in getting more political concessions from the president.

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