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South Korean Prosecutors to Question President Park About Corruption Scandal

People chant slogans at a rally calling for President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 12, 2016. The placards read, "Step down Park Geun-hye."

South Korean prosecutors are likely to question President Park Geun-hye this week concerning a corruption scandal that has crippled her administration and sparked massive rallies calling for her resignation.

"We need to question the president Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest," an official in Seoul's prosecutor's office told Yonhap news agency.

Park, whose approval rating has fallen to five percent, would be the first sitting South Korean president questioned by prosecutors about a criminal case.

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. The accusations include Park pressuring South Korean top conglomerates into giving tens of millions of dollars to foundations that Choi controlled.

Prosecutors are also investigating Choi who is alleged to have exercised a "cult-like" influence over Park.Choi is accused of meddling in state affairs, even though she had no government title or security clearance.

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered at a mass rally in South Korea Saturday to demand President Park's ouster.