S. Korean president to address nation over scandal

Seoul—South Korean President Park Geun-Hye was to address the nation Friday over a corruption scandal that has engulfed her administration and triggered the arrest of a close personal friend accused of meddling in state affairs.
It marks the second time in 10 days that Park has spoken directly to the country in an effort to contain the fallout from the scandal that broke last month.
Media reports suggest she will repeat an earlier apology, agree to be questioned as part of an official investigation and devolve some of her extensive executive powers to the prime minister and cabinet.
The decision to address the nation came as a Seoul court on Thursday formally approved an arrest warrant for Choi Soon-Sil, Park’s long-time confidante, on charges of fraud and abuse of power.
Choi is accused of leveraging her close relationship with Park to coerce local firms into donating large sums to dubious non-profit foundations that she then used for personal gain.
Choi, whose late father was an elusive religious figure and an important mentor to Park, also faces allegations that she interfered with government affairs, including the nomination of senior officials.—AFP

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