Koreans, expats celebrate Park’s ouster with screams of joy, applause [PHOTOS]

/ Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

By Park Si-soo, Ko Dong-hwan, Lee Han-soo, Eom Da-sol, Woo Ji-won

People hailed the Constitutional Court’s historic decision on Friday to turf President Park Geun-hye from office, calling it a “people’s victory” and hoping the verdict will pave the way for a “more transparent and ethical society.”

Park So-young, a Korean-American English teacher living in Seoul, said: “I am very glad to hear the results. I think a majority of the Korean people will be relieved and will finally be able to get closure and move on. I hope for peace, unity and strength amid the chaos.”

Park Seul-ki, a researcher at Sogang University, said: “Candles of democracy seemed to have weakened but I am happy to find out that the candles were still blazing. Authorities kneeled at the people’s court. They saw to whom the real authority belongs and just need to accept it.”

/ Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

An Irish student who has paid keen attention to the Choi Soon-sil scandal said: “Thinking of what she has done with her confidant Choi Soon-sil, the Constitutional Court of South Korea ruling President Park to be impeached is not surprising.” He said Park “should be dealt with accordingly and any of her associates who helped her corruption should be punished, especially Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong.”

Fabien Delcambre, 31, a French teacher in Seoul, said the Constitutional Court “made the right decision.” He said: “I think Koreans need to put more trust in their government but they are pressuring the nation to make its decision to be sure that there is no manipulation in the process. I heard that some Koreans are ashamed of Park’s scandal. However, I think they should be proud to be living in a country where the justice system is actually working.”

Another Frenchman in Seoul, Benjamin Kemmel, said: “I believe the situation was prolonged because Park refused to resign from her office even though the demonstrations began last autumn. I believe if people no longer want her, she must leave her office immediately so the nation can heal itself and form a new government the people approve.”

/ Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

He noted people should try to make the country more transparent. “The (Korean) government is not transparent enough to the public,” Kemmel said. “People have no access to the expenses of the politicians — just like what’s happening in the United Kingdom. This can lead to a lack of confidence in the government and facilitate the corruption. Overall, the impeachment has defended the country’s democratic ideals and will serve as a great example in future Korean politics.”

Yuta Shimada, 24, a Japanese student, said: “Not only Park, but I expect future Korean politicians will be found guilty of similar crimes. I believe the whole scandal was possible because of the connection between government and conglomerates.”

/ Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

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