In an incident that threatens to end the presidency of South Korea’s leader Park Geun-hye, the 64-year-old president has apologized to the nation, saying she accepts responsibility for an influence-peddling scandal involving friend and confidante, Choi Soon-sil, the Washington Post reported. After it was discovered that Choi had edited some of the president’s speeches, she was formally arrested last week, with *prosecutors saying they were investigating accusations that Choi had put pressure on some of South Korea’s biggest companies to donate US$$70 million (474 million yuan) to two foundations she controlled. There are also widespread rumors in the country that Choi *wielded huge political power by pulling President Park’s strings and was responsible for many of the Park administration’s policies.
Park, once highly popular among the South Korean population, has seen her approval ratings *plunge to single-digits. She has vowed to take full responsibility if investigations unveil more *wrongdoings by her friend.