A look at key moments in life of S. Korea's ex- leader

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 17, 2017 7:19 AM
A look at key moments in life of S. Korea's ex- leader

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Park Geun-hye, the recently deposed president of South Korea, was indicted on corruption and other charges in the latest blow for the country's first female president, the former darling of conservatives and the daughter of a deeply divisive dictator.

Park, who was arrested and detained last month, now faces a criminal trial after prosecutors indicted her Monday for allegedly abusing power, extorting money, taking bribes and leaking state secrets.

A look at key developments in Park's life and political career:

___

— 1963: Park, then 11, moves into the presidential Blue House after her father, Park Chung-hee, becomes president, two years after he staged a coup and took control of the country.

— 1974: Her mother is shot and killed by a man targeting her father during a speech in Seoul, claiming orders from then-North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. Park begins serving as first lady.

— 1979: Her father is assassinated by his spy chief during a late-night drinking party. Park leaves the Blue House after her father's state funeral.

— 1990: Park resigns as chairwoman of a children's foundation over suspicions that she allowed her mentor, Choi Tae-min, and his daughter, Choi Soon-sil, to manipulate it for personal gains. Park's ties with the Choi clan will prove to be damaging after she becomes president.

— 1998: After years of mostly avoiding the public eye, Park enters politics and wins a parliamentary seat amid public nostalgia for her father at a time when South Korea was being battered by the Asian financial crisis.

— 2006: Park, by now leader of the main conservative party, is attacked by a man wielding a box cutter while campaigning in Seoul. She receives 60 stitches for an 11-centimeter (four-inch) gash on her face. The first words she reportedly says at a hospital are, "How is Daejeon?" to check on campaigning in the central city; that further builds up her image as a strong leader.

— 2012: Park becomes the country's first female president in a landslide victory over liberal opponent Moon Jae-jin.

— 2014: The 6,800-ton Sewol ferry sinks off the country's southwest coast, killing 304 people, mostly teenagers on a school trip. Park comes under heavy criticism over what was seen as a botched rescue by the government.

— 2016: Media report suspicions that a senior Park aide pressured companies into giving money to non-profit organizations controlled by Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of her mentor. Park acknowledges her ties with Choi in a speech to the nation, but denies breaking the law. Prosecutors indict Choi and two former Park aides in November, and lawmakers impeach Park a few weeks later.

— 2017: The Constitutional Court votes unanimously to uphold the impeachment and remove Park from office, which lifts her immunity from prosecution. Prosecutors call her in for questioning. Ten days later, she is arrested. In April, she's indicted by Seoul prosecutors on multiple charges, including abuse of power, extortion, bribery and leaking state secrets.