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.


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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