choi soon-sil

Steven Borowiec
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Still Impenetrable: Samsung Heir Lee Jae-yong Avoids Arrest to Mixed Reactions

The months-long scandal that has convulsed the top ranks of South Korean politics and business took a turn in the early hours of Thursday, as a court declined to grant an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, the country’s most prominent company and the crown

Steven Borowiec
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What Was That Jacket Chung Yoo-ra Was Wearing?

When Chung Yoo-ra was brought out from hiding after being apprehended by police in Denmark, many questions swirled in South Korea about Chung and her role in the evolving scandal centered around her mother, Choi Soon-sil. Just how did Chung, a reputed ne’er do well with lackluster academic credentials,

Se-Woong Koo
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Ethics Be Damned: South Korean Journalism Fails

I am from South Korea, but I make it a point not to write or speak in Korean about this country. That my Korean language skills have ossified from disuse is only one reason; it is more that my brushes with South Korean media are rarely uplifting. A case in

Steven Borowiec
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Dispatch from Gumi: Park Geun-Hye's Sins Taint Father's Legacy

The monument to a dictator sits at the foot of some rolling hills, and visitors approaching the entrance are greeted by a bronze statue that depicts workers doggedly dragging a wheelbarrow. Nestled into trees behind the sculpture is a small cluster of gleaming single-story buildings: the house where Park was

Daniel Corks
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Weekly Brief: Dec. 5th - 11th

Corruption at heart of Presidential scandal In a rare scene, lawmakers questioned the CEOs of nine major conglomerates on live television. The CEOs represent the largest companies in the country, each suspected of buying favors from the government through Choi Soon-sil, the President’s confidante. The most common answer? “I

Steven Borowiec
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Dispatch from Yeouido: President Park Geun-hye Gets Impeached

The most spirited cries of the day came just after 4 pm. Teary friends shouted, embraced, threw their hands in the air. About a minute earlier, the boisterous music had been halted, and audio from the National Assembly was pumped in. In an flat tone of voice, the speaker announced

Haeryun Kang
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"I Love Park Geun-hye": The South Korean President's Last Loyalists

It seems like president Park Geun-hye doesn’t have many supporters left. Her closest aides are gone, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office — normally an ally of the sitting president — called her a criminal suspect, a growing portion of her Saenuri party is supporting impeachment, and her approval

Jean Noh
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Top Five Sightings from the Anti-Park Geun-hye Protests

In the sixth straight weekend of rallies in South Korea, a record number of protesters gathered in Seoul and across the nation Saturday, calling for the ouster of president Park Geun-hye. According to the progressive newspaper Kyunghyang Shinmun, it marked the republic’s largest rally in history with an estimated

Gene Eu
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Religion and Politics in South Korea: Very Comfortable Bedfellows

It is 1975. An assembly of people are gathered together, standing in front of their purported leader. The group is fervently shaking their hands and praying. A girl, her eyes closed and seemingly on the verge of tears, is mouthing something. It’s a fleeting but powerful image. The leader

Daniel Corks
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Weekly Brief: Nov. 21st - 27th

State-authored textbooks: Another victim of Choi Soon-sil? Today the government gave the public its first look at the new state-authored history textbooks. When announcing it last year, the government held firm on its plans for new textbooks despite strong opposition from historians and academics. Possibly due to the weakened state

Daniel Corks
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Weekly Brief: Nov. 14th - 20th

Protests: Water cannon trucks still on standby Last year on November 14, police water cannons knocked an elderly demonstrator unconscious. Over a year has passed, but water cannon trucks are still being rolled out for every major protest. Last week, a group of NGOs declared November 14, the “Day

Daniel Corks
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Weekly Brief: Nov. 7th - 13th

Seoul plans to clear the air Seoul’s poor air quality has become a big talking point in recent months. TV weather reports now often include levels for particulate matter. Before last year, most South Koreans blamed the quality on the yellow dust from China, but Greenpeace has revealed