South Korean President Park Geun-hye, impeached over corruption and a cronyism scandal, has stepped down from the presidency. The New York Times states that Geun-hye was impeached on Friday, March 10 over the charges of corruption and abuse of her presidential power. She left the presidential Blue House on Sunday, March 12.
Geun-hye apologized for her actions in office to both the ministers and the people of South Korea. Upon leaving she said, “I wholeheartedly offer words of apology to the people as my lack of virtue and carelessness have caused great confusion at a time when the nation faces challenges over national security and the economy.” The Guardian reported.
The presidential scandal was sparked in October of 2016, when the public found that there was a close relationship between Geun-hye and Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of cult leader Choi Tae-min. According to The Guardian Choi Soon-sil edited Geun-hye’s speeches, and has been known to abuse authority. Geun-hye used her power in the presidential Blue House to help Soon-sil, that resulted in the gain of millions of dollars.
Geun-hye and Soon-sil first met at the former First Lady of South Korea’s funeral, who was also Geun-hye’s mother. Soon-sil became Geun-hye’s mentor from that point on.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, slipped down to second place in the South Korean presidential election after the impeachment of Geun-hye. Although not a member, Ki-moon is close with Geun-hye’s Saenuri Party, which has caused him to lose supporters.
According to The Washington Post, a leading presidential candidate is Moon Jae-in. Jae-in is a supporter of the “Sunshine Policy”, which allows South Korea to open up closed states and ease tension with North Korea.
China and South Korea are also experiencing tension, built up by the missile defense deployment. China has stated that it have to see political stability from South Korea soon in order to keep up relations. Japan added that it would closely watch the development of South Korea and the crisis.