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South Koreans Continue to Seek President's Resignation

  • VOA News

Protesters shout slogans at a protest calling on South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down, in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 19, 2016.

Protesters shout slogans at a protest calling on South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down, in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 19, 2016.

Tens of thousands marched in South Korea for a fourth straight Saturday, demanding the ouster of President Park Geun-hye.

Police said about 170,000 people participated in demonstrations in South Korea's capital, Seoul. Organizers put the figure at 600,000.

Protests have largely remained non-violent. A temporary stage has been set up and became the center of the rallies, hosting open mics, comedy, and rock bands such as Deulgukhwa.

There have also been reports of pinata bashing for children, turning the demonstration into somewhat of a family affair.

Later in the evening, protestors chanted "Park Geun-hye Resign!" and held signs, candles and illuminated cellphones outside the presidential palace.

South Koreans from around the country have traveled to the capital for the rallies.

The protest is the latest in a series demanding Park's resignation for a corruption scandal that has crippled her administration. Her approval ratings have fallen to just five percent.

The investigation into a multi-million-dollar influence peddling scheme, allegedly organized by the president's longtime friend, Choi Soon-sil, has shattered Park's carefully crafted political image as an incorruptible leader, and has left her increasingly isolated and powerless. They are accused of pressuring South Korean businesses into giving $70 million to foundations that Choi controlled.

Choi is alleged to have exercised a "cult-like" influence over Park and control over her staff, even though she had no official government role.

Choi is also being investigated for exploiting her personal relationship with the president to coerce large corporations to donate more than $68 million to two sports foundations, and funneling much of that money to her private businesses.

Prosecutors plan to indict Choi as well as two presidential aides Sunday.

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