Impeached president, and also a prisoner. Part 2.

Moon Sooin

From the previous post, I’ve talked about how the former president Park was working with Choi, extorting a lot of money from Korean companies as well as showing Choi a huge amount of confidential government files. I also said, that major presses disclosed the case to the citizens.

When first they first realized what happened, the people could not believe that someone who didn’t possess any capability of doing so could affect the state of government affairs so much. Then, they started to question wanting to know, who this Choi lady is, and was stunned when the press delved into it.

A former member of Korea’s parliament mentioned how JTBC, one of the leading press in disclosing Park government’s problems, was threatened to go under tax investigation, if they didn’t take down the subject.

By then, the Park government had lost most of their pubic support, including the older part of the population, who had an almost absolute trust in the Park family, not to mention the younger and working generations’ disappointments. From 30 % support, the support for the Park government went down all the way to 17 %, before the end of October.

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Because of all this, there was the first big candlelight vigil in the October 29th. It’s called a candlelight vigil because it represents a peaceful protest. It started because it is illegal to protest after working hours in Korea, but cultural festivals were allowed, so this meant candlelight vigil were allowed. The protest included 20,000 people and occurred in the Guanghwamoon plaza, in front of Kyungbok Palace.

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The entire time, the Choi family stayed in Germany, away from the press. However, when they finally came back to Korea on October 30th, Choi was not arrested for investigation, raising a lot of questions towards the public prosecutors too. Even after the press had already confirmed with Incheon airport officials that the prosecutors were accompanying Choi, the prosecutors kept on saying that they did not know when she was coming back or didn’t accompany her, and had other reasons to let her free from custody until needed, which was weird considering how big and serious the case was to Korean government.

Then, she was finally arrested for investigation, on the 31st. She was prosecuted for embezzlement, breach of duty, exposure of national confidential documents, and more, to total up to more than 10 legal breaches.

This was all while the Jeung Yura’s investigation was still going on, which I will talk about in the other post.

As an AP(Auxiliary police), one of the memorable moment during the time, was an overnight duty in the JTBC main building. There were older populations who thought this was a bogus, and tried to stop the press, telling how the tablet pc they found was fake. During the protest, they actually made it into the building, because the police force did not have any reason to stop them entering the building with a specific cause, so they just hid their weapons and pickets and sneaked into the building, claiming as a civilian. The police force did take away the weaponries but, on the outside, they had LPG gas bottles, threatening to blow up the building. Due to the chaos, a lot of AP forces were mobilized to patrol overnight in the headquarters.

It was one of those moments for me to see how many people had different perspectives. I realized that they were average people that were standing up for the better cause of the country. Of course, some people like the older protesters turned out to be wrong, but that was democracy for me; people making changes without being afraid.

References

-“‘JTBC, 세무조사 협박받았으나 손석희가 버텼다’ 충격 주장.” 스토리369 , 김만석 , story369.com/m/Article/ArticleView.php?UID=10202759#_adtep.

-“[朴대통령 지지율 여론조사 상세분석] 취임 후 최저…‘민심은 이랬다.’” 경향신문, 28 Oct. 2016, news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=shm&sid1=100&oid=032&aid=0002738326.

-“[단독]‘국정농단’ 최순실 입국때 검찰 수사관 동행…검찰, 최씨와 사전 접촉 의혹.” Https://News.naver.com/Main/Read.nhn?Mode=LSD&Mid=Sec&sid1=100&Oid=032&Aid=0002738604&ViewType=Pc, 경향신문, 10AD.

-“[단독]‘최순실, 미르-K스포츠 재단 진행상황 朴대통령에게 수시 보고.’” News.donga.com, 30 Oct. 2016, news.donga.com/MainTop/3/all/20161031/81081300/1.

-“[단독]‘최순실, 미르-K스포츠 재단 진행상황 朴대통령에게 수시 보고.’” 동아, news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=shm&sid1=100&oid=001&aid=0008789389.

-Çѱ¹ÀϺ¸. “[단독]최순실, 외교비밀ㆍ군사기밀 유출 처벌 가능.” 한국일보, news.naver.com/main/hotissue/read.nhn?mid=hot&sid1=100&cid=1051768&iid=25564781&oid=469&aid=0000170335&viewType=pc

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