Park gets welcome home from supporters

Park Geun-hye is greeted by several lawmakers in front of her private residence in southern Seoul, Sunday. / Korea Times photo by Bae Woo-han

By Jun Ji-hye

Former President Park Geun-hye was welcomed by eight pro-Park lawmakers from the Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and hundreds of her followers upon her return to her home in southern Seoul, Sunday.

Others who were waiting for her in front of the residence in Samseong-dong included her former chiefs of staff.

Around 1,000 police officers stood around the house to prevent possible violence.

As soon as she got out of a Hyundai luxury Equus limousine, Park shook hands with her core loyalists one by one with a smile and chatted with some of them.

Lawmakers present were Reps. Suh Chung-won, Choi Kyung-hwan, Yoon Sang-hyun, Cho Won-jin, Kim Jin-tae, Park Dae-chul, Lee Woo-hyun and Min Kyung-wook.

Among them, Reps. Suh, Choi and Yoon have been disciplined by the party’s ethics committee for their alleged joint responsibility for the presidential corruption scandal _ Suh and Choi’s party memberships were suspended for three years, and Yoon’s for one year.

Reps. Cho, Kim and Park have actively participated in pro-Park rallies, while Min was a presidential spokesman.

Former presidential chiefs of staff, who assisted the scandal-ridden leader, including Heo Tae-yeol, were also there to welcome Park.

Hundreds of supporters who gathered there chanted, “Park Geun-hye, the President!” and “Cancel the impeachment!”

Former President Park Geun-hye waves to her supporters from a car as she arrives at her private residence in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, Sunday, after leaving Cheong Wa Dae following the Constitutional Court’s decision to uphold her impeachment. / Yonhap

After Park entered the house without announcing any stance of her own, her former spokesman delivered a statement instead of her, saying, “Although it may take time, I believe the truth will eventually be revealed.”

Park left Cheong Wa Dae at 7:16 p.m. two days after the Constitutional Court upheld her impeachment, making her the nation’s first democratically elected leader to be ousted before the end of the presidential five-year term.

Police motorcycles and six other cars escorted the Equus Park was seated in as she returned to the house where she had lived for around two decades until becoming the nation’s 18th president. It took only 20 minutes for her to return home; 1,476 days after she was sworn in as president in February, 2013.

Up to her departure from Cheong Wa Dae, she was criticized for staying in the presidential complex even after the court ruling, which immediately made her an ordinary citizen, while keeping silent on the ruling. This prompted rivals to criticize her for behaving as if she was refusing to accept the ruling depriving her of power.

Park’s aides said the repair work of her house began only after the court decision was delivered Friday.

The residential boiler at her home was fixed, home furnishing was returned, and new wallpaper was being finished off Sunday, the aides said.

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