Thousands March in Support of Ousted South Korean Leader

August 28, 2017

SEOUL, South Korea — Thousands of supporters of ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye marched in Seoul on Saturday to protest a court ruling that appeared to support key corruption charges against her.

Waving South Korea’s national flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes, the demonstrators shouted “Release innocent President Park Geun-hye” and called for the resignation of liberal President Moon Jae-in, who took power in May after winning a presidential by-election following Park’s removal from office.

Some of the demonstrators scuffled with pedestrians as they marched toward the streets near the presidential Blue House, while other pro-Park groups held separate rallies nearby.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency didn’t provide a crowd estimate. But a police officer at the scene, who didn’t want to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak to journalists, said about 8,000 people participated in the march.

Police couldn’t immediately confirm whether it was the biggest pro-Park rally at the capital since Moon took office.

The march on Saturday came a day after a Seoul court sentenced Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison for a variety of crimes, including offering bribes to Park.

Following protests by millions and impeachment by lawmakers in December, Park was formally removed from office and arrested in March over broad corruption charges. She is undergoing her own criminal trial that is expected to produce a ruling around mid-October.

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