Moscow confident South Korean crisis won't affect ties between Moscow and Seoul

Moscow confident South Korean crisis won't affect ties between Moscow and Seoul

On March 10, South Korea's Constitutional Court upheld Park Geun-hye's impeachment.

South Korea's Constitutional Court removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office in a unanimous ruling Friday over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into political turmoil and worsened an already-serious national divide.

Depending on the verdict, South Korea will hold its next presidential election in either May or December.

A snap presidential election will be held within 60 days. Ms Park and Choi have denied any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors have been investigating allegations that Park pressured top business executives, including Samsung's Lee, to donate tens of millions of dollars to foundations run by her friend Choi Soon-sil in return for government favors. Outside the courthouse in the capital Seoul on Friday, thousands of Park's supporters tried to break through police barricades.

Although his fate remains unclear, now that Park is officially found guilty over the same bribery charges for which he was arrested, things aren't looking too bright for him.

Park's impeachment verdict has triggered protests in Seoul leaving at least two dead. The counsel concluded Park was an accomplice to Choi in attempting to extract 43 billion won (US$37.6 million) from the technology giant, saying the two friends "shared economic interests". The integration facilitated Lee's takeover of corporate control from Lee Kun-hee, his incapacitated father and the group's chairman.

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"As Park Geun-hye no longer has immunity to the criminal prosecution, she can be arrested and imprisoned at any time".

Her action had "seriously impaired the spirit of. democracy and the rule of law", said constitutional court chief justice Lee Jung-Mi.

Meanwhile, speculation has continued that senior presidential secretaries might tender their resignations to Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.

The BBC reports that the predicted leftward shift in South Korean politics could see the reopening of a joint venture industrial complex just across the border in North Korea-and could complicate relations with the USA when it is trying to isolate Pyongyang internationally.

All up, Park faced 13 charges, and massive rallies from the citizens of South Korea in recent weeks calling for her final impeachment.

The current front-runner, by a distance, is Moon Jae-In, former leader of the opposition Democratic Party, who had the support of 36.1 percent in a Realmeter poll released on Thursday.