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Analyst: Park has lost political trust

Reporter: U-Jean Jung 丨 CCTV.com

11-01-2016 01:27 BJT

South Korea is looking for answers in its biggest scandal in years as the woman at the centre of it faced prosecutors on Monday. Choi Soon-sil, a cult leader's daughter with a decades-long connection to President Park Geun-hye, arrived at the Seoul Public Prosecutor's Office earlier today. The woman at the centre of the political scandal has been summoned by prosecutors for questioning. Choi Soon-sil returned from Germany on Sunday, where she'd been in hiding following damning revelations linked to President Park Geun-hye.

Choi Soon-sil, a longtime friend of President Park Geun-hye, appeared in front of the media for the first time on Monday, before entering the prosecutor's office.

Choi is being accused of influencing state affairs as a private citizen and using her friendship with the president to extract funds worth 7 million dollars from businesses for two foundations, then to appropriate some of that money for her personal use.

President Park gave a rare televised apology on Tuesday, acknowledging consulting Choi on some speech drafts early in her term.
Experts in Seoul say, the public has lost all faith in the current administration.

"I don't think there's any point in hoping that Park will be able to regain the people's trust again. It takes a lot of time to recover broken trust. But we just don't have enough time for that. That's why this is a serious problem... People's doubts turned out to be true. So, people have started to ask fundamental questions on the meaning of the country's election and their votes - progressives and conservatives aside," said professor Shin Yul, Myongji University.

Park's approval ratings dipped to a record low of 14% in the following days and thousands protested in central Seoul on Saturday, demanding Park to step down.

"The only way to resolve this crisis for the president is to take her hands off all state affairs, and give full authority to a prime minister appointed by the ruling and opposition parties, who will then form the new cabinet. There is no other way," professor Shin said.

One opinion poll said more than 40% of respondents want President Park to resign or be impeached.

As prosecutors continue to investigate presidential aides and Choi Soon-sil, the President on Sunday accepted resignations from her top aides, including her chief of staff. But many feel it may not be enough to regain the public's trust, even with a thorough and objective probe by the prosecution.

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