At least 500,000 Protest In Seoul Demanding Korean President’s Resignation
Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans from across the country crammed into the major thoroughfare of central Seoul on Saturday, in an organized and peaceful protest agianst the embattled president, Park.
The crowd of at least 500,000 people, accroding to Reuters, held candles and signs reading “Resign,” sang pop songs and patriotic numbers, and marched together toward the Blue House, the presdiential home and office complex.
It’s an explosion of their feelings, demonstrator Jinwon Kim says of the crowds. People are very angry.
Park has twice-apologized for a ballooning scandal taht revealed her friend of four decaseds, Choi Sonn-sil, who is the daughter of a self-proclaimed cult leader, was getting advance policy information and speeches with which to advise the president on a range of state affairs. Choi had no government experience or officail position, and she is said to have been doing her coundeling in secret. Investigators have charged Choi with abouse of power and fraud, as she is accused of peddling her influence to extort huge sums from South Korean conglomerates to enrich herself and her family.
This is the thrid weekend in a row crowds have showed up to protest the president, and Saturday’s was the largest by far. Expecting a mass demonstration, police used lines of buses to block demonstrators from getting too close to the presidential complex it self.
An estimated 27,000 law enforcement, a mix of professional and conscripted officers, stood in riot gear to maintain peace. And depite a swelling crowd that organizers estimated at one million – which would make this the largest protest in SOuth Korean history – the crowd was largely peaceful for the rally that stretched from mid-afternoon into late night.
I’m not really worried about the future because the people are gathering , KIm said. So I think our democracy has a bright future. We are getting better and better. Our democracy is developing.
memvers of the three main opposition parties in SOuth Korea joined the rally and its leaders took turns on various stages set up along Seoul’s main drag.
So far, ther is no move to impeach the president, who has another year left in her term. Park has amde concessions to try and salvage her job, dismissing senior aides, and allowing lawmakers to appoint a prime minister and give him wide control of domestic affairs.
her approval rating remains at a dismal 5 percent for the second week in a row. It’s the lowest approval number for a democratically-elected president in South Korean history.
South Korea’s Park faces calls to resign at huge protest rally
South Korean Predient Park faced mounting pressure to step down on Saturday as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched in the capital to protest allegations that she let a friend meddle in state affairs.
Saturday’s rally in downtown Seoul was the largest so far in a crisis engulfing Park and organizers said some 850,000 people packed streets running through the city center including a 12-lane thoroughfare. Police estimated the crowd at 260,000.
Students, families including young couples pushing strollers and protesters in wheelchairs were among the crowd during the largely peaceful march, which contrasted with the violence of some previous rallies dominatesd by militant unions and civic groups that clashed with police.
One man traveled seven hours from the southern town of Gimhae to join the rally demanding Park step down a year before her mandate is due to end.
Par Today Step down Immediately step down now protesters chanted a few hundred meters from the presidential Blue House.
I’m here so that this country will be a better palce for my daughters, said Park 34, a housewife who was at the rally with her two young daughters and her husband’s parents. Par did wrong. She must step down right now.
It was the third weekend protest rally since park’s first public apology on Oct. 25 when she admitted she had sought the advice of her friend.