The World On Arirang

The World On Arirang

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PR MATERIALS

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120 2016-12-27 [Foreign Correspondents] The Impeachment Bill and Aftermath

[Foreign Correspondents] The Impeachment Bill and Aftermath

On December 9, Korean lawmakers passed an impeachment bill on President Park Geun-hye. 234 legislators out of a total of 299 voted in favor of the motion. When the bill was passed, many people who were waiting outside the National Assembly building celebrated the news. Some members of the press deemed it to be a victory for plaza democracy and commented that the candlelight protests held in Gwanghwamun Square brought about the impeachment. However, not everyone welcomed the impeachment bill. Conservative groups also held protests of their own, expressing their opposition to the impeachment and called for the adherence to the Constitution.


The impeachment bill was passed under scrutiny of the public. What did the panelists of "Foreign Correspondents" think of this situation? Frank Smith, Seoul correspondent for Iran's Press TV, stated that the truths disclosed by the press caused many Koreans to stage protests, and the impeachment bill was passed when the legislators adjusted their political stance in response. Frederic Ojardias of France's RFI, agreed, saying that the decisive factor that allowed the impeachment bill to pass was the massive scale of the protests that changed the minds of lawmakers from the Saenuri Party, who had been supporting President Park. Ojardias also stated that it was Choi Soon-sil's daughter Chung Yoo-ra's college admission through corrupt means that first incurred the wrath of the public. He found it interesting that the Ewha Womans University students' collective action to get to the truth started it all.


President Park faces impeachment due to Choi Soon-sil Gate! As of 7:03 PM on December 9, President Park has been suspended of her duties with the passing of the impeachment bill. However, the National Assembly's approval of the bill does not automatically mean that she loses her presidency. The Constitutional Court has yet to pass its judgement. Whether President Park recovers her powers or resigns all hangs on the final decision by the court. While the court deliberates the case for 180 days, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has stepped in as acting president. After the bill passed, acting president Hwang moved swiftly to pick up the reins. He reviewed the country's national security and led Cabinet meetings. Despite the swift actions taken by acting president Hwang, some members of foreign media expressed concerns for Korea's political situation after the passing of the impeachment bill. Korea's political situation remains uncertain as it faces impeachment. On this episode, the panelists of "Foreign Correspondents" discuss Korea's political situation after the passing of the impeachment bill.



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