South Korean Leader Offers to Resign in Surprise Move

[World News ★★★]


(P1) South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday that she will resign her office once Parliament develops a plan for a safe transfer of power. The surprise announcement, which the opposition called a move to delay impeachment, comes amid prosecution claims that she conspired with a friend who handled government power from the shadows. Hundreds of thousands of people have rallied in Seoul each Saturday for the last five weeks to demand that Park steps down. “I will leave the matters about my fate, including the shortening of my presidential term, to be decided by the National Assembly,” Park said Tuesday in a live address to the nation, per the AP.

(P2) Opposition parties had been closing in on an impeachment motion against Park, and even her allies in the conservative ruling party have called for her to “honorably” step down rather than face impeachment. An impeachment motion vote has been planned for Friday. Park would be the first South Korean leader to resign since the country’s first president, Syngman Rhee, quit and then fled to Hawaii amid a popular uprising in 1960. The succeeding government was overthrown by a coup by Park’s late father, the military dictator Park Chung-hee, whose rule also abruptly ended when he was assassinated by his spy chief in 1979.

WORDS: 213


VOCABULARY: resign, impeachment, conspired, uprising, succeeding, coup


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think Park should step down? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think people in high ranking position, like leaders, abuse their power?
  4. In your opinion, do you think Park should be prosecuted and sent to prison? Why or why not?


  1. The announcement made by Park to resign was not expected. (T or F)
  2. How many weeks in a row have the people in Seoul demonstrated to ask Park to leave office?
  3. Who was the first person in South Korea to hold the office of president?
  4. Park Chung-hee was the ruler of South Korea before Rhee. (T or F)
  5. Who killed the father of Park Geun-hye?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • handled government power from the shadows (P1)
  • to demand that Park step down (P1)
  • a live address to the nation (P1)
  • closing in (P2)

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Image source: by Ahn Young-joon

One thought on “South Korean Leader Offers to Resign in Surprise Move

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