UPDATE : 2018.7.23 MON 12:35
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Park's defiant remarks raise eyebrows of opponents

South Korea's liberal parties and activists on Sunday lambasted ousted President Park Geun-hye after she struck a defiant tone over corruption allegations surrounding her, as she arrived at her private home after leaving Cheong Wa Dae.

Park left the presidential office in the evening two days after the Constitutional Court's decision to dismiss her over a sweeping influence-peddling scandal.

In her first statement after the verdict, she said, "I believe the truth will be definitely unearthed."

Her short statement read by her former spokesman drew angry reactions from her political rivals and civic activists who organized street protests over the past five months.

"It seems that Park does not admit her involvement in the influence-peddling scandal," Rep. Youn Kwan-suk of the Democratic Party said. "Park acts like she defies the court's ruling on her impeachment."

Youn said Park's statement which was issued only after she returned home was intended for her supporters, and not for the people.

"Park will face prosecutors' investigation as a civilian suspect," Youn said, claiming Park threw away her last opportunity to make an apology.

The liberal People's Party echoed the view, claiming all South Koreans, including her, are obligated to accept the ruling by the Constitutional Court.

"It is a tragedy for the country as well as for Park, that she does not acknowledge her wrongdoings, even after becoming the first president to be impeached," the People's Party said in a statement.

The conservative Bareun Party also urged Park to respect the Constitutional Court's decision for the sake of national unity and normalization of state affairs.

"Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and the Cabinet should make thorough efforts to fill in the vacancy of the president for 60 days," the party added.

A coalition of civic groups, which led weekend rallies against Park, called for a thorough investigation into the former leader over the scandal, saying that Park should go to jail instead of home.

"Since Park said she will be responsible for the result, the prosecutors should not hesitate to impose a overseas travel ban on Park and arrest her," the group said in a statement.

"Although it may take time, her criminal acts related to the sinking of the ferry Sewol, collusion with conglomerates, and political maneuvering will be revealed," the group said.

The Sewol ferry sunk on April 16, 2014, claiming more than 300 lives, with most of them being high school students. The opposition parties have been claiming Park failed to fulfill her duties as president when the disaster occurred. (Yonhap)

Ousted President Park Geun-hye gets out of a car appearing misty-eyed in front of her private residence in southern Seoul after returning from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on March 12, 2017, two days after she was removed from office at her impeachment trial at the Constitutional Court

Sung Min Kim  edt@koreapost.com

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