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President's interview 'disgusting'

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/ Captured from Jeong Kyu-jae TV
/ Captured from Jeong Kyu-jae TV

By Yi Whan-woo


Criticism is pouring in against impeached President Park Geun-hye after she dismissed the corruption scandal against her and the relevant public protests as being driven with lies and conspiracies in a rare interview, Wednesday.

All parties except for the ruling Saenuri Party denounced Park over her attitude, saying the interview showed why the public loathe her and why she should be removed from power.

This was her first exclusive interview with a Korean media outlet since taking office four years ago. She deliberately chose conservative journalist Jeong Kyu-jae who has been friendly to her as the interviewer in her defense, they claimed.

In the interview, she described the scandal as a "huge mountain heaped up with lies" and it had been plotted for a long time. She also dismissed the ongoing demonstrations demanding her ouster as a "conspiracy."

The parties said the interview left them "speechless" and "dumbfounded," saying Park's unapologetic manner despite all the contradicting testimony and evidence waw "disgusting."

"This is a dirty trick of manipulating the media," said main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) spokeswoman Rep. Park Kyung-mee in a statement. "She invited a conservative polemicist to make her arguments in a lopsided manner while refusing to defend herself on legal grounds."

The DPK spokeswoman said the interview was also the breach of the Constitution, citing that her power has been suspended and is not supposed to engage in political activities.

Concerning the President's claim that the scandal was "a mountain built on lies," Park Kyung-mee said she was left speeches by such audacious remarks.

"The President is trying to fool the people by arguing the scandal is believed to be a premeditated and carefully-planned conspiracy against her. But our people are too sensible to be deceived," she said.

Party floor leader Rep. Woo Sang-ho said Park is believed to be instigating the conservatives and stir up a domestic rift on the Lunar New Year's holiday, which will run from Friday to Monday.

Woo cited that Park's interview came on the same day when her longtime confidant Choi Soo-sil, who is in the center of the scandal, complained to the reporters that the special prosecution has been forcing her to make false confessions.

"It's an unforgiveable act and this really shouldn't be a New Year's present for the people," he said.

Minor opposition People's Party spokesman Rep. Kim Kyung-jin echoed a similar view.

"The President is attempting to form a sympathetic environment for her among the public and it is very inappropriate," he said. "The President should stop making fallacious arguments and telling lies. She instead should step down immediately as that will the right way to serve the people."

The party Chairman Rep. Joo Seung-yong asked the President to clarify her allegations before the Constitutional Court and the independent counsel team if she is wrongfully accused as she claims

"She is merely making excuses outside the court while refusing to cooperate with the Constitutional Court and the special prosecutor. That's really ridiculous," Joo said during a party meeting.

Rep. Choung Byoung-gug, the chairman of the Bareun Party, a breakaway group from the conservative Saenuri Party, said he is ashamed by Park's interview.

"Her argument was more than self-defensive and rather egocentric," Choung said during Supreme Council meeting. "Her argument about conspiracy only deepens the domestic rift and political crisis. I hope she behaves in a prudent manner."

Yi Whan-woo yistory@koreatimes.co.kr


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