Seoul protesters call for president parks ouster
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A group of people, including a Korean-American woman, gathered on the corner of Lee Yongbi and Yeoncheung in central Seoul, calling for the president to resign following accusations of misconduct in the 2012 parliamentary elections.
The rally was held on Sunday evening.
Protesters are saying there is no truth in the President’s recent statements and accusing him of misusing public funds, particularly on the campaign trail. The rally comes after a wave of sexual harassment allegations against some of President Park’s close aides that have rocked South Korea’s economy and pushed her to step down.
Park’s chief of staff apologized Friday for a “misjudgment” and said she would quit shortly after being charged with misdemeanor assault in November. She has denied sexual misconduct but has insisted that the accusations are politically motivated.
Park has previously been criticized for keeping a low profile after revelations of a high-profile, but consensual affair with South Korean president Lee Myung-bak.
On Friday, Park was reported to have made an emotional confession about her affair with Park â€” she blamed her husband for not allowing her to publicly confess to the affair. She was forced to defend her decision to delay the resignation until after the October 7, 2013 election, saying she didn’t want to cause further problems between then and then as the country heads to the presidential election on March 15.
The scandal, which involved Park and South Korean President Chung Hong-won, set the stage for President Park’s impeachment this month. Park, who took office in May, is being tried over a slew of allegations that include illegal campaign donations, financial irregularities, nepotism and abuse of power, including alleged misuse of public funds.
The rally against Park went off without a hitch.
“I think the problem was not that we wanted her to resign. I think it was that we needed to stop the speculation about the president,” said one protester, the founder of the group Korea Democracy Action (ì¡°ì´ë“œìŠ¤íŠ¸ìœ¼ë¡œ,ì†ŒíŒì´ë“œìŠ¤íŠ¸ìœ¼ë¡œ).
The rally comes as many South Koreans are inching away from the current president and are considering whether to vote for another party â€” a change that could lead to a possible return to the conservative Saenuri party.
As more and more of Park’s former aides are being investigated for alleged mismanagement, and as lawmakers seek re-election next month, many believe that a new generation has to step in if they hope to avoid impeachment.
Un watchdog denies iran blocked nuke visit
HISR is under new leadership after its previous president was forced to resign due to allegations of corruption and abuse of power, Iranian state news agency IRNA cited as saying on Saturday.
Under Hossein Khatami, the organization made it the top body of the Islamic Republic to promote Iran’s interests around the world, IRNA said in the statement citing sources in Tehran.
“The new organization will keep Iran’s interests in mind while promoting the country’s interests and will remain under the supervision of the Supreme Leader,” said the source quoted by IRNA.
A senior Iranian general was appointed as head of the new body in late January after a four-year absence.
The head of the IRNA, an independent international news service, was also replaced over corruption claims in February.
Khatami resigned from the position in February last year after IRNA alleged he was involved in illegal contracts worth more than $300 million with the Chinese government.
The United States, which accuses Tehran of being behind a series of cyber attacks against the American government, called on all states to support the new watchdog.
It said that the announcement “signals that the United States and its allies will continue to stand up to the Iranian regime.”
Under the new IRNA head, the agency will be in charge of “all key political, economic, financial and military aspects of the Islamic Republic’s foreign relations, including the nuclear issue.”
The current head of the organization is Mohammad Mohsen Qalam, who was dismissed by Khatami after an allegation of corruption that he had collected over $60 million.
Iran’s state news agency said Khatami would be taken into custody later on Saturday as the Supreme Leader is under investigation for alleged corruption.
Meanwhile, the head of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s election campaign group, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on state TV that Iran would continue to cooperate with the West, especially the United States.
Iran said on March 5 it had struck a deal with a group led by the United States to help resolve a number of nuclear issues including sanctions.
The White House on March 6 vowed that the United States would “work with all countries,” while U.S. officials said they hoped to get closer economic ties with Iranian oil and gas and military cooperation.
Iran has struck more than three dozen bilateral and multilateral nuclear agreements with more than 50 nations since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
The United States and China are the other major Western power that backs sanctions against Iran and its state sponsor of terrorism, North Korea, over its nuclear and missile programs.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)
Date created : 2017-08-2