South Korean President Mired in Scandal

South Korea protestsWith a dismal 4% approval rating, South Korea President Park Geun-hy is facing possible impeachment. The country is outraged, and people are calling for her resignation. The trouble involves the president's long-time friend, Choi Soon-sil, who was just indicted for fraud and abuses of power.

The Washington Post describes Park's relationship with Choi:

A famously aloof person, Park is accused of relying on Choi for everything from policy advice to wardrobe choices, instead of seeking counsel from her aides. Choi, the daughter of a shamanistic cult leader, is accused of exploiting those ties to raise money and win favors for herself and her family.

Choi used her influence to get companies to "donate" $70 millions; business leaders felt if they didn't contribute, they would be subjected to audits or other actions taken by the government. The prosecution for Choi determined that Park was heavily involved.

According to The Washington Post, the protests are the largest the country has seen since 1987, when South Korea democratized.

Image source.

Discussion Starters:

  • What parallels do you see between this story and recent company scandals?
  • How should we decide when it's time for a country or a company president to resign? Is it Park's time?