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As part of an investigation into government corruption, South Korean prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for two former aides of President Park Geun-hye.

Her former senior secretary for policy Ahn Jong-beom, and private secretary Jung Ho-sung, are wanted in relation to charges of fraud and abuse of power.

President Park Geun-hye has so far refused to resign over the scandal. She apologized on TV on November 4.

In the TV address, she admitted that she made an error in allowing her friend Choi Soon-sil inappropriate access to government policy-making.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

However, Park Geun-hye denied allowing cultish rituals to be performed in the presidential palace.

Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a cult leader, is suspected of using her friendship with the president to solicit donations to a non-profit fund she controlled. She is in detention facing charges.

The corruption scandal, which threatens to engulf Park Geun-hye’s leadership, has left her with an approval rating of just 5%, the lowest ever for a sitting South Korean president.

Tens of thousands of South Koreans have been protesting in Seoul demanding her resignation.

The main opposition party, which said Park Geun-hye’s apology on November 4 lacked sincerity, also called on her to step back from state affairs.

Park Geun-hye became South Korea’s first female president when she was elected in a close-run contest in December 2012.

Choi Soon-sil is the daughter of Choi Tae-min, a shadowy quasi-religious leader who was closely linked to Park Geun-hye’s father, then-President Park Chung-hee.


Ahn Jong-beom, a former aide to South Korean President Park Geun-hye, has been placed under emergency detention, prosecutors say.

He is the second aide to be detained in a scandal which is threatening Park Geun-hye’s position.

Ahn Jong-beom and Park Geun-hye’s long-time friend and mentor Choi Soon-sil are suspected of using their presidential connections to persuade corporations to donate funds to foundations they were involved with.

Choi Soon-sil was detained on October 31 and is still being held.Park Geun-hye New Year address

Ahn Jong-beom had told reporters on November 2 he would take responsibility for his actions, the Yonhap news agency reports, without giving further details.

He has been placed under emergency detention to prevent the possibility of him tampering with evidence, prosecutors said. They have 48 hours to formally request an arrest warrant in court.

On November 2, prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for Choi Soon-sil. Seoul Central District Court is due to review the request on November 3, a court spokesman said.

Several banks have also been raided in connection with the controversy, which has prompted widespread anger.

Park Geun-hye responded to the crisis on November 2 by reshuffling her government, appointing a new finance minister and prime minister – a largely symbolic role in South Korea.

Surveys suggest Park Geun-hye’s approval rating is about 10%, with about half of respondents saying she should resign or face impeachment.