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Denmark Arrests Daughter of South Korean Leader’s Friend | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. Reuters

Seoul- The daughter of Choi Soon-Sil, the woman at the center of a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea’s president, has been arrested in Denmark after months in hiding, Danish police said Monday.

Chung Yoo-Ra, the 20-year-old daughter of the woman dubbed South Korea’s “Rasputin,” is one of the figures in the influence-peddling scandal that sparked massive street protests demanding the removal of President Park Geun-Hye.

The scandal has drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets of Seoul for weekly demonstrations and could result in Park, 64, becoming the first democratically elected South Korean leader to leave office early.

After a tip-off from a South Korean journalist, Chung was arrested Sunday night in the northern Danish town of Aalborg for overstaying her visa, Danish police said in a statement, according to AFP.

Choi was accused of using her influence to secure her daughter’s admission to an elite Seoul university, with a state probe revealing the school had admitted Chung at the expense of other candidates with better qualifications.

The revelation touched a raw nerve in education-obsessed South Korea and prosecutors sought to question Chung over her admission to Ewha Women’s University in 2014.

Several professors at Ewha Women’s University, including a former school president, have been investigated for giving Chung preferential treatment.

One professor was arrested over the weekend for allegedly giving Chung a good grade for a class she never attended and for forcing his teaching assistants to forge exam records for her.

Park stands accused of conspiring with Choi to extract money from the firms and also of letting her meddle in state affairs including nominating top officials. The president denies all charges against her.

Parliament voted on December 9 to impeach Park over the scandal and her executive powers have been handed to an acting president, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn.

The impeachment case is being considered by the Constitutional Court, which has up to six months to reach a ruling.

Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans have joined weekly protests calling for Park’s immediate departure from office.

If the impeachment is confirmed, a presidential election will have to be held within 60 days.