South Korean judge's hair curlers a sidelight in impreachment uproar

Court to rule on South Korean president's fate; Koreans ready to move on after impeachment

It's the worst time for South Korea President Park's impeachment because of the uncertainty and deterioration in the security situation on the Korean peninsula, according to Viktor Goa, Director of the China National Association of International Studies.

Park is obliged to move out of the presidential palace, where she has been cloistered for more than 90 days after the National Assembly voted for her impeachment in October.

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

Park Geun-hye has been embroiled in scandal since October previous year, when it was alleged that she had allowed a close friend to have extensive influence on government policy.

In a unanimous decision, the Constitutional Court on Friday upheld a parliamentary vote to impeach her over an influence-peddling scandal. If that happens, he would have to resign to run and a deputy prime minister would become interim leader.

"We have never had a president who has been removed forcefully by an impeachment proceeding like this, ever", says J. James Kim, a researcher at the Korean policy think tank Asan Institute.

She is the country's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office.

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Shortly after Friday's decision was announced, South Korea's defense minister Han Min Koo warned the country's military to be on alert for the possibility of North Korean "strategic or operational" provocations attempting to exploit "unstable situations at home and overseas", according to AP.

Park's impeachment verdict has triggered protests in Seoul leaving at least two dead.

Prosecutors have recommended Park face 13 charges including abuse of power and sharing of state secrets.

Police issued a statement vowing to track down and punish unruly protestors as pro-Park supporters planned to hold fresh demonstrations near the Constitutional Court and in the city centre on Saturday afternoon.

It is widely believed that nostalgia for her late father, the authoritarian leader Park Chung-hee, brought her to the presidency. Liberal candidate Moon Jae-in, who came second in the 2012 election, has a comfortable lead in the polls.

In anticipation of the ruling, Park supporters, many of them dressed in army-style fatigues and wearing red berets, and those who want Park gone began showing up around the Constitutional Court building.

Aidan George Foster-Carter, Korea expert and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Leeds University argues that the South Korean public "is not very divided".



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