UPDATE : 2019.12.6 FRI 17:52
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Police beef up security around court on day of ruling on Park's fate

Police on Friday tightened security near the Constitutional Court as it prepares to deliver a ruling on whether to remove scandal-hit President Park Geun-hye from office later in the day.

Police have surrounded the court in central Seoul with police buses and mobilized some 21,600 officers to stand guard near the government offices, including the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Citizens walking toward the court have to pass an inspection by police.

Supporters and opponents of the impeachment will hold their respective rallies near the court and wait for the ruling, which will be televised live nationwide from 11 a.m.

Liberal civic groups said they will hold another demonstration in Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul at 7 p.m. They are planning a march, though the direction could be either to the Constitutional Court or to the presidential office depending on the ruling.

Park was impeached by parliament in December for allegedly letting her close friend Choi Soon-sil meddle in state affairs and colluding with her to extort millions of dollars from local conglomerates, including Samsung Group.

The ruling on her impeachment will be read by the court's acting chief Lee Jung-mi. Park is not expected to attend the hearing.

If the court upholds the impeachment, Park will be permanently removed from office and a presidential election to pick her successor will be held within 60 days.

Police officers stand guard near the Constitutional Court in Seoul on March 10, 2017, as the court is set to deliver a ruling on the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye later in the day. People both for and against the impeachment have been rallying around the court, some threatening to harm the judges. (Yonhap)

Otherwise, Park will be immediately reinstated and allowed to serve out her term through next February and the election will be held in December as scheduled. (Yonhap)

Park So-yeon  edt@koreapost.com

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