South Korean court throws president out of office; two die in protest
South Korea's Constitutional Court removed President Park Geun-hye from office on Friday over a graft scandal involving the country's conglomerates at a time of rising tensions with North Korea and China.
The ruling sparked protests from hundreds of Park's supporters, two of whom were killed in clashes with police outside the court, and a festive rally by those who had demanded her ouster who celebrated justice being served.
"We did it. We the citizens, the sovereign of this country, opened a new chapter in history," Lee Tae-ho, the leader of a movement to oust Park that has held mostly peaceful rallies in downtown involving millions, told a large gathering in Seoul.
Park becomes South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office, capping months of paralysis and turmoil over the corruption scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung conglomerate in detention and on trial.
A snap presidential election will be held within 60 days.
Park did not appear in court, and a spokesman said she would not be making any comment. She also would not leave the presidential Blue House residence on Friday.
"Park is not leaving the Blue House today," Blue House spokesman Kim Dong Jo told Reuters.
Park was stripped of her powers after parliament voted to impeach her but has remained in the president's official compound.
The court's acting chief judge, Lee Jung-mi, said Park had violated the constitution and law "throughout her term," and despite the objections of parliament and the media, she had concealed the truth and cracked down on critics.
Park has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.
Related news releases
- 26.04.2018Yemen: 8 get death for collaborating with coalition
- 26.04.2018South Korea's Moon to meet North Korea's Kim at border for summit
- 25.04.2018Rouhani: US sets eyes on Arabian black gold reserves, bank accounts
- 24.04.20186 PKK terrorists 'neutralized' in N.Iraq
- 24.04.2018North Korean leader mourns deaths of Chinese tourists
- 24.04.2018Magnitude 5.1 earthquake strikes southeastern Turkey
- 24.04.2018Southern China karaoke lounge fire kills 18 - police
- 24.04.2018Saudi-led air strikes kill at least 20 at Yemen wedding
- 23.04.2018Russian, Chinese FMs call for peace in Syria
- 23.04.20187 killed, 2 injured in SW China road accident
- 22.04.2018Iran 'ready' to resume nuke program if US leaves deal
- 22.04.2018India seeks death penalty for child rapists
- 22.04.2018Saudi police: Riyadh's shooting targeted toy drone - UPDATED
- 22.04.2018Arms seized from militants shown in Syria’s Douma
- 22.04.2018Fears of a coup are sparked in Saudi Arabia after heavy gunfire erupts near the Royal Palace
- 21.04.2018PKK terror attack kills civilian in eastern Turkey
- 21.04.2018Japan’s Abe lauds North Korea move to end nuclear tests
- 21.04.2018Israeli troops kill four Palestinians in border protest
- 21.04.2018North Korea says will stop nuclear tests, scrap test site
- 21.04.2018Twenty killed in air strike in southwest Yemen: residents
- 21.04.2018Tehran warns Israel: Our ‘hands are on the trigger’
- 20.04.201829 Daesh terrorists killed in Iraq by airstrikes
- 20.04.2018Turkish court remands 3 senior FETO members
- 20.04.2018Four Saudi security forces killed by gunmen in southern province
- 19.04.2018U.N. team fired upon in Syria while visiting suspected chemical sites
- 18.04.2018Peace treaty with North Korea possible following denuclearization
- 18.04.2018Iranian helicopter crashes into Persian Gulf
- 17.04.2018Putin, Merkel discuss Syria — Kremlin
- 14.04.2018Rouhani, Assad hold phone conversation
- 14.04.2018Ali Khamenei accuses US, France and Britain of crime
- 14.04.2018Iranian FM: US, British, French aggression on Syria breaches international laws
- 14.04.2018Israel: Strikes in Syria an 'important signal' to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah
- 14.04.2018Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles: state TV
- 14.04.2018Israel says Iranian drone it shot down in February was carrying explosives
- 13.04.2018Russia claims chemical attack in Syria was 'staged and directed by UK'
- 12.04.2018Turkish army neutralizes 3 PKK/PYD-YPG terrorists
- 12.04.2018At least 16 killed by bombing to the north of Baghdad
- 12.04.2018Russian MFA: Israeli air force’s missile strikes on Syria coincident with intensified activities of ISIS
- 12.04.2018Erdogan: Supporters of murderous Assad and PYD are mistaken
- 12.04.2018Israel warns Iran not to test its determination
- 11.03.2017Attack on military air base in southeastern Afghanistan
- 11.03.2017Expelled South Korean president hides from crowds
- 13.03.2017UNICEF: 652 children were killed in Syria last year
- 10.03.2017Seven PKK terrorists killed in SE Turkey
- 10.03.2017Tehran welcomes Chinese offer to mediate with Riyadh
- 10.03.2017South Korean court throws president out of office, two dead in protest