Veteran Politician Says Park 'Too Stubborn' to Go Quietly

  • By Yang Seung-sik

    November 15, 2016 12:09

    Former prime minister Kim Jong-pil, a close confidant of President Park Geun-hye's father Park Chung-hee, has said the president is too stubborn to resign.

    "Even if 50 million citizens demand her resignation by questioning her ability, she will remain in her post," Kim said in a media interview.

    "She will never step down," Kim told the weekly Sisa Journal. "She is so stubborn that nobody can convince her."

    Former prime minister Kim Jong-pil talks to reporters in a hotel in Seoul on Oct. 25, 2016. /Yonhap

    Kim, who was prime minister twice and founded the secret service, married Park's cousin and has known the president since she was a child.

    He expressed confidence that the seedy side of Korean politics will be cleaned up to some degree once Park is out of office.

    Kim was scathing about Park's relationship with Choi Tae-min, the leader of a crackpot cult who became her mentor in the 1970s and was the father of her close friend Choi Soon-sil, whose bizarre shenanigans are now bringing down her government.

    "She became close to that bastard and didn't bother to leave her room once she let him inside," Kim said. He said their relationship was "bound in blood."

    But in a press release after the article ran, Kim accused the reporter of "distorting and exaggerating" his remarks and threatened to sue.

    "A few days ago, [the journalist] visited me claiming to be a senior from my home town and we exchanged a few words. It turns out he recorded the conversation and wrote a nasty article," Kim said. "The contents are preposterous."

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