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South Korea's Park says "hard to forgive myself" for political scandal

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye said in a tearful apology on Friday that her "heart was breaking" over a political scandal that has engulfed her administration and said will cooperate with prosecutors in their investigation.

[SEOUL] South Korean President Park Geun-hye said in a tearful apology on Friday that her "heart was breaking" over a political scandal that has engulfed her administration and said will cooperate with prosecutors in their investigation.

Ms Park has been rocked by an influence peddling scandal involving an old friend, sending her approval rating to an all-time low of just 5 per cent, according to a Gallup poll released on Friday.

In a brief televised address to journalists, Ms Park said that prosecutors should clarify what happened and that everyone involved should be held accountable, including herself, and take responsibility if found guilty. "It is hard to forgive myself and sleep at night with feelings of sorrow," Ms Park, 64, said, her voice trembling.

Ms Park's old friend, Choi Soon-sil, 60, is alleged to have used her closeness to the president to meddle in state affairs, and her lawyer has said he expects prosecutors to look into whether she inappropriately received classified documents. "It is very miserable and regrettable that a particular individual is said to have taken profits and committed several unlawful acts, while we are working on a job in hopes of helping the national economy and people's lives," Ms Park said, referring to Choi.

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Choi has been in custody since Monday.

A former Ms Park aide was arrested on Wednesday and South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported on Friday that a second former aide was arrested late on Thursday.

REUTERS

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