South Korean ex-president Park Geun-hye released after pardon

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, 69, has been released after the current president pardoned her last week. Park was serving a 20-year prison sentence for corruption and abuse of office. She was impeached and tried in 2017, and convicted a year later.

Pictures from South Korean TV channels show Park leaving hospital in Seoul. I stayed there since last month for medical treatment. Her health was one of the reasons President Moon Jae-in called for her to be pardoned. Moon said the decision should also contribute to “national unity.”

The decision was controversial. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court upheld Park’s ruling. Park allowed a confidant to exert significant influence on the government when that woman was not part of it at all. Both also received bribes from big companies such as Samsung.


Park has always denied the allegations. In her book of letters published yesterday, she did it again. According to Park, the motives for her trial were political. South Korean media accused them of spreading rumors and false news.

It is unclear if Park is pursuing another political career. She did not discuss this explicitly in her book. But she writes, “She wants to meet people again one day.”

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Megan Vasquez

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