S.Korea braces for impeachment unrest

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12 March, 2017

Supporters of South Korean President Park Geun-hye watch a live broadcast of a Constitutional Court decision on a smart phone during a rally opposing her impeachment near the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea, on March 10, 2017.

Ms Park's office said she would not be leaving the Blue House, South Korea's presidential palace, on Friday nor making any statement.

Ms Choi is also in detention, after being accused of using her close ties with Ms Park to force firms to "donate" nearly $70m to her non-profit organisations, which she allegedly used for personal gain. It follows months of peaceful protests that drew millions of people into the streets, as well as the legislative impeachment vote in December that suspended Park's presidential powers.

An independent investigator claims the former president was an accomplice to Choi in attempting to extract 43bn won (£30.9m) from the technology giant, saying the two friends "shared economic interests", the Korea Herald reports. The acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, will remain in office until the election, which is expected May 9. Liberal Moon Jae-in, who lost to Park in the 2012 election, now enjoys a comfortable lead in opinion surveys. China is also vehemently opposed to the roll out of a United States missile defence system in South Korea, which began this week.

With the ruling, Park will be immediately removed from office and South Korea is required to hold a presidential election within 60 days.

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Two people died in demonstrations and frenzy following a historic ruling in South Korea to remove its first female president.

A plunge in consumption and rising jobless rate of the young here are among many difficulties the local economy faces, while the United States' move toward trade protectionism is adding to global uncertainties facing not only South Korea but the entire world, it said. Nostalgia for her father's conservative rule led her a sweeping electoral victory in 2012. Park allegedly worked with her to extort millions from businesses; a more sensational version has the now-former president essentially under the control of that friend, who is the daughter of a cult leader.

Feb 17: Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee arrested for suspected role in the scandal.

Ms Park had maintained her innocence throughout the impeachment proceedings.

But the judges dismissed some charges, including accusations Ms Park had infringed on freedom of the press by creating a media blacklist of cultural figures, and criticism of her response during the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster.

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