Park keeps mum over impeachment ruling

By Shin Yong-bae
  • Published : Mar 11, 2017 - 18:21
  • Updated : Mar 12, 2017 - 13:23

Former President Park Geun-hye remained mum and still stayed in the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae Saturday, a day after the Constitutional Court ruled to dismiss her over a massive corruption scandal.

Her aides and observers said Park might need some time to cope with the sudden deprivation of the presidential prerogatives, an impending prosecutorial probe and trenchant public criticism.

Participants attend a rally in front of Cheong Wa Dae to celebrate the ouster of President Park Geun-hye on Saturday. (Yonhap)

"The (former) president has been in a state of shock, and it appears that she needs time to come to terms with what has happened to her," an aide told Yonhap News Agency over the phone, declining to be named.

In Friday's verdict to oust Park, the court said her legal violations were "too serious to be tolerated," and that the benefits to defending the Constitution by removing her from office are "overwhelmingly large."

Park is suspected of allowing her longtime confident Choi Soon-sil -- who had no government post or security clearance -- to meddle in important state affairs, as well as colluding with Choi to extort money and favors from local conglomerates such as Samsung Group. Both have flatly denied the accusations.

Following the verdict, Park was expected to return to her private residence in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. But she is still at the presidential compound as the private home needs some repairs and security protection added, according to her aides.

Park's aides said the residential boiler at her home has been fixed and other home furnishings such as wall papering will likely be done by Sunday, hinting that the former president could relocate to the home on Monday.

Park had lived in the Sameong-dong house from 1990 to 2013 when she moved to Cheong Wa Dae shortly before her inauguration. The house was built in 1983.

South Korea doesn't have specific rule of when a dismissed president should leave Cheong Wa Dae. The Labor Party, a minor political party, on Sunday requested police to investigate Park over property invasion, obstruction of enforcement of public affairs, and violation of military secret protection law.

Meanwhile, speculation has continued that senior presidential secretaries might tender their resignations to Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. Some observers said Hwang might retain the economy-related secretaries due to the need to maintain policy consistency. (Yonhap)