South Korea’s president impeached. What you need to know.


On Friday, South Korea’s Constitutional Court unanimously upheld the legislature’s impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, notes Celeste Arrington, an assistant professor of political science at George Washington University. After months of political uncertainty, Park became the first democratically elected leader in the country to be stripped of her powers, which had been suspended since the legislature’s 234-to-56 impeachment vote in December, she writes for The Washington Post.

The ruling was eagerly awaited. But it’s a beginning more than an end. Here are five things you should know for the road ahead, she adds:

  • The ruling was unanimous and unambiguous.
  • Park’s failure to respond immediately to the ruling emboldens a tiny but vocal minority that refuses to accept the ruling.
  • The public overwhelming supported impeachment, but tackling the root causes of the scandal will take time.
  • Sixty days is a short time in which to find suitable candidates and run an effective presidential election campaign.
  • The transition in South Korea is happening amid unusually high tensions in Northeast Asia….

“North Korea, meanwhile, appears to see little to lose in this climate of uncertainty,” Arrington adds.” A progressive South Korean president may try drawing Pyongyang away from such provocation through engagement, but such an approach diverges from what Washington appears to be pursuing.”


Professor Robert E. Kelly discusses the regional implications of Park’s removal (above) –or at least tries to do so.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email