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8 out of 10 South Koreans support impeachment of President Park: survey

Xinhua, November 24, 2016 Adjust font size:

Eight out of 10 South Koreans supported the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye after prosecutors identified Park as an accomplice to Choi Soon-sil, Park's longtime confidante who has been indicted on multiple charges including abuse of power and extortion.

According to a survey of Realmeter, local pollster, released on Thursday, 79.5 percent of respondents expressed agreement on impeaching the scandal-hit president. Among them, 60.3 percent strongly favored the impeachment.

Going against it was 14.6 percent, but the portion of those who want to force President Park to be impeached was up from 73.9 percent tallied last week when people demanded voluntary resignation or forcible impeachment.

Almost 1 million protesters rallied on the streets nationwide last Saturday, demanding Park step down. But, the presidential office rejected the demand, saying Park will maintain her presidency to take responsibility for state affairs.

Despite public and parliamentary oppositions, the first South Korean female leader pushed a military intelligence pact with Japan, formally signing the deal on Wednesday to directly exchange information on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Protesters in front of the South Korean defense ministry's headquarters, where the two sides sealed the military pact, shouted for the president's immediate resignation, saying Park must distance herself from state affairs, including diplomacy and security affairs.

On Sunday, the prosecution office said Park had conspired with her decades-long friend in multiple crimes. Park became the country's first sitting president to be investigated as a criminal suspect.

Prosecutors raided Samsung Group headquarters on Wednesday and stormed the headquarters of Lotte and SK, two of the country's top five conglomerates, on Thursday on bribery allegations.

The country's parliament is set to launch a separate investigation into the scandal later this month. The team of a special prosecutor who will probe the case independently is forecast to kick off investigation early next month.

The biggest opposition Minjoo Party vowed to put an impeachment motion to vote in the National Assembly as late as Dec. 9. Endit