South Korean President Faces Investigations and Impeachment Vote

February 15, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. peruse / pəˈruz / (v.) – to examine or check thoroughly
Example: He will peruse the documents before sending them to the management.

2. uphold / ʌpˈhoʊld / (v.) – to support something
Example: We need to uphold the strategies that our boss shared from now on.

3. rest easy / rɛst ˈi zi / (idiom) – to not worry about anything
Example: He told me to rest easy because he will take care of my problems.

4. air / ɛər / (v.) – to express or announce something
Example: We will air our concerns in the interview tomorrow.

5. interference / ˌɪn tərˈfɪər əns / (n.) – the act of delaying or disturbing something
Example: The broadcast experienced a minor interference a while ago.


Read the text below.
The National Assembly of South Korea has voted for the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

The decision follows numerous demonstrations held to urge the president to step down from her position. The president has been accused of abusing her power and conspiring with her friend Choi Soon-sil. The two women were accused of extortion from businesses. Park was also accused of letting Choi meddle in government affairs.

The motion only suspends Park’s powers and not her title and salary. The Korean Constitutional Court must still peruse the evidence against Park and decide whether the motion should be upheld or not. Should the motion for impeachment be approved, Park will have to step down from her position and a new president will be elected.

Half a million anti-Park protesters greeted the decision with candlelight vigils, music, and even fireworks. One protester said in an interview that she realized how strong the people are   when they acted together. She added, however, that they are not about to rest easy until the court reaches a final decision on Park’s removal from the Blue House, the official residence of the South Korean head of state.

Park’s scandal is feared to have a negative impact on South Korea’s economy. The country’s finance ministry already aired its concerns about the issue’s effects on people’s consumption and investments. Meanwhile, the Bank of Korea is set to organize meetings to prepare for the outcome of the impeachment vote.

However, Fitch Ratings, a firm that analyzes global financial trends, said in a press release that there is nothing to worry about—while Korea’s political issues are seen as important factors, these are not enough to cause a massive interference in the country’s economic activity.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If a similar issue happened in your country, would you join the demonstrations on the streets? Why or why not?
·         If a head of state becomes involved in a scandal, should he or she wait for impeachment or step down voluntarily? Explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What are the possible effects of political issues to a country? Discuss.
·         Do you think that it is important to be always updated on political issues? Why or why not?

February 15, 2017