S. Korean demonstrators celebrate president Park Geun-hye’s impeachment

World Today

ProtestersProtesters march toward the presidential house during a rally against impeached President Park Geun-hye in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

In Seoul, the mood has changed. After six weeks of angry protests demanding the president step down, tens-of-thousands rallied to revel in the impeachment of Park Geun-hye. They were undeterred by the fact impeachment still requires final approval from the Constitutional Court – a process that could take months.

CCTV’s Jack Barton gave us this report.

S. Korean demonstrators celebrate president Park Geun-hye’s impeachment

In Seoul, the mood has changed. After six weeks of angry protests demanding the president step down, tens-of-thousands rallied to revel in the impeachment of Park Geun-hye. CCTV’s Jack Barton gave us this report.

It was almost impossible to take the metro so many people wanted to gather in downtown Seoul a day after the parliament voted in favor of impeaching President Park Geun-hye.

After months of protesting the mood in the city was celebratory.

“I’m so happy. We have to pick a better president who won’t make this happen again,” a young demonstrator said.

Picking a new president requires holding a fresh election. If that were to happen soon, it would require President Park to step aside.

President Park Geun-hye is continuing to refuse to step down despite these protests and despite approval ratings hovering around four percent, but she says ultimately she will abide by the decision of the country’s constitutional court judges who are currently reviewing her potential impeachment. That could take up to six months.

Protesters set off fireworks

Protesters set off fireworks during a rally against impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye near the presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Some people here already say the cleanup has to go beyond the president – to the culture of longstanding close ties between government and South Korea’s massive conglomerates.

“The ruling party and the major companies, all things with the governments are involved so I don’t know how we are going to solve this,” said activist Yoo Min. “But it should be solved, like, if not there’s no future for our next generation or kids”.

Impeachment proceedings against the president have begun, but people here are making it clear these protests aren’t coming to an end.


Sung-Yoon Lee on South Korea’s impeachment vote

What will be the impact to the Republic of Korea following this impeachment vote of President Park? To learn more about the impact and the process, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Sung-Yoon Lee, Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School.