South Korean President Park Geun-hye Says She’ll Leave Office Early if Ordered

South Korean President Park Geun-hye — facing demands for her ouster because of a corruption scandal — announced she is willing to shorten her term at the discretion of the National Assembly and “step down afterwards,” throwing an already tumultuous political situation here into more confusion.

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Park, who has 14 months left in her five-year term, is a suspect in a sprawling criminal investigation over whether she enabled a cult-linked old friend — dubbed a “Rasputin-like” figure — to control state affairs without an official position and enrich herself along the way. Park faces growing calls for impeachment and the lowest-ever presidential approval rating since Korea became a democracy. She cannot be charged with a crime while she remains in office.

“Not for one second have I pursued my personal interests. I have lived my life without the smallest personal greed,” Park said, in her third public statement since the scandal broke in mid-October. “The various problems that are happening now are projects that I had pursued, believing they were public and for the nation, and in the process I have not had any personal gain.”

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