BROKEN CONNECTIONS: Park Geun-hye said that she銀行借貸利息比較 had been careless in her ties with Choi Soon-sil, who Park has said helped her through difficult times
/ Reuters, SEOUL
A tearful and apologetic South Korean President Park Geun-hye yesterday said her “heart was breaking” over a political scandal that has engulfed her administration, adding she will cooperate with prosecutors in their investigation.
Park has been rocked by an influence peddling scandal involving an old friend, sending her approval rating to an all-time low of just 5 percent, a 12 percentage point drop from last week, the lowest since such polling began in 1988, according to a Gallup poll released yesterday.
In a brief televised address to journalists, Park said that prosecutors should clarify what happened and that everyone involved should be held accountable, including herself, and take responsibility if found guilty.
“It is hard to forgive myself and sleep at night with feelings of sorrow,” Park said as her voice trembled.
A prosecution official declined to comment when asked if Park would be subject to investigators’ questioning.
The leader of the main opposition party said Park’s apology was insincere.
“The president should remove her hands from state affairs,” Democratic Party of Korea leader Choo Mi-ae said in a statement, stopping short of demanding Park’s resignation.
Park has faced growing calls from the public and political opponents to step down. No South Korean president has ever failed to finish their five-year term.
A former Park aide, Jeong Ho-seong, was arrested late on Thursday on suspicion of leaking classified information, a prosecution official said, the second member of Park’s former inner circle of advisers to be arrested this week.青年創業貨款資格
Park’s long-time friend Choi Soon-sil, 60, is alleged to have used her closeness to the president to meddle in state affairs, and her lawyer has said he expects prosecutors to look into whether she inappropriately received classified documents and benefited unlawfully from two nonprofit organizations.
“It is very miserable and regrettable that a particular individual is said to have taken profits and committed several unlawful acts, while we are working on a job in hopes of helping the national economy and people’s lives,” Park said, referring to Choi.
Park closed her remarks with a bow and walked toward a row of journalists and repeated her apology. She did not take questions.
She acknowledged carelessness in her ties with Choi, who Park has said helped her through difficult times.
“It is true that I lowered the wall of caution myself because she stood by me in the most difficult period in my life,” Park said. “I have already cut all the connections in my heart, but from now on will completely break my private connections.”
Their friendship dates to an era when Park served as acting first lady after her mother was killed by an assassin’s bullet intended for her father, then-South Korean president Park Chung-hee. Five years later, in 1979, Park’s father was murdered b九如鄉貸款利率試算表y his disgruntled spy chief.