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South Korean Presidential Office Bought Viagra for 'Altitude Sickness'

  • VOA News

South Korea President Park Geun-hye's office, Nov. 23, 2016, confirmed revelations by an opposition lawmaker that it purchased about 360 erectile dysfunction Viagra pills and the generic version of the drug in December.

South Korea President Park Geun-hye's office, Nov. 23, 2016, confirmed revelations by an opposition lawmaker that it purchased about 360 erectile dysfunction Viagra pills and the generic version of the drug in December.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye's office confirmed Wednesday that it had purchased about 360 erectile dysfunction Viagra pills in December.

The office claims, however, that the pills were bought to treat potential altitude sickness in preparation for an upcoming Cabinet trip to Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya — countries whose capitals are 1 to 2 kilometers above sea level.

The statement was in response to a news report which caused a frenzy on the Internet about the extremely unpopular president amid protests calling for her resignation.

Viagra and similar drugs are occasionally prescribed to climbers in South Korea as some doctors there believe they help to combat altitude sickness. The pills found in the presidential palace were never used, Blue House spokesman Jung Youn-kuk said.

The presidential office also purchased a host of injection drugs, including anesthetics, which Jung said were part of a number of drugs the presidential medical staff carried at all times in case of emergency.

Following four straight weekends of protests of as many as tens of thousands of Koreans, federal prosecutors indicted the president’s close friend Choi Soon-sil with abuse of authority, coercion and attempted fraud. The decision Sunday also labeled president Park a co-conspirator.

South Korean opposition parties are now planning for her possible impeachment.

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