Critics of South Korea’s ousted leader Park call for her arrest

Opponents of South Korea’s ousted leader, Park Geun-hye rallied in the capital, Seoul, on Saturday to demand that she be arrested, a day after she was thrown out of office over a corruption scandal involving the country’s conglomerates. The Constitutional Court ruling on Friday to uphold a parliamentary vote to impeach Park infuriated hundreds of her supporters, two of whom were killed as they tried to break through police lines outside the court. A third man, aged 74, had a heart attack and died on Saturday, a hospital said. Park’s critics were out in central Seoul on Saturday, where they have been gathering every weekend for months, while the former president’s conservative supporters also took to the streets not far away, though fewer in number. Police were out in force with riot shields but there were no reports of trouble.

She’s a citizen now. If she’s done something wrong, she has to be arrested.

Anti-Park protester

“Impeachment is not the end. We’ve not dispersed, we’re still going forward, united,” said one anti-Park protester who gave his name as T.H. Kim. Park, 65, is South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office. Her ouster followed months of political paralysis and turmoil over a corruption scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung conglomerate in jail and facing trial. The court ruling marked a dramatic fall from grace of South Korea’s first woman president and daughter of Cold War military dictator Park Chung-hee. She served as his first lady after the 1974 assassination of her mother. At times, Park and her supporters have bridled at associating her with her father, who seized power in a 1961 coup and ruled for 18 years until he was gunned down by his security chief in 1979. Though she has spent years in the public eye, she has remained an enigma.