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President Park Geun-hye of South Korea is in the biggest fight of her political life. She is in the midst of a political scandal involving allegations of corruption and that her close personal friend and “shaman,” Choi Soon-sil, was a shadowy, Rasputin-like figure who generally functioned as the president’s puppetmaster. Park is believed to have shared classified government documents with Choi, who has no security clearance. Choi also, allegedly, used her connections and influence to shape state policy, pocket millions in corporate donations, and rig her daughter’s admission to Seoul’s prestigious Ewha Women’s University.
The Choi scandal has, at a time of economic trouble and increasing tensions with North Korea, thrown the Park administration’s handling of state affairs into question, and outraged many ordinary citizens. Over the past two weeks, massive numbers of South Koreans have hit the streets, calling for Park’s resignation and