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South Korean leader plans announcement amid impeachment push

Associated Press Associated Press 29/11/2016
FILE - In this March 3, 2016 file, South Korean President Pak Geun-hye, left, looks at Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong signing the agreement with Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the presidential house in Seoul. South Korea's embattled president has accepted the resignation of her justice minister, the latest in a series of personnel reshuffles she's made amid a political scandal that's threatening her leadership. (Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool Photo via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this March 3, 2016 file, South Korean President Pak Geun-hye, left, looks at Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong signing the agreement with Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the presidential house in Seoul. South Korea's embattled president has accepted the resignation of her justice minister, the latest in a series of personnel reshuffles she's made amid a political scandal that's threatening her leadership. (Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool Photo via AP, File)

SEOUL, South Korea — The embattled South Korean president announced Tuesday that she would make a public announcement amid a push by lawmakers for impeachment and growing public calls for her resignation.

It wasn't clear what Park Geun-hye planned to say in the live TV broadcast, but an immediate resignation would be a major surprise. There's some speculation she might set a date for a future resignation. Or she might apologize yet again for a scandal that's threatening her rule, or vow to cooperate with future investigations.

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Seoul each Saturday for the last five weeks to demand that Park step down, but she has rejected calls to leave office and has dismissed prosecutors' claims that she colluded with a confidante who allegedly manipulated power from the shadows and extorted companies to amass an illicit fortune.

Her planned speech comes as opposition parties close in on an impeachment motion against her. They plan to put that motion up for vote on Friday. The country's two largest opposition parties were also planning on Tuesday to nominate a special prosecutor to independently investigate the scandal.

There has also been growing momentum from past supporters for her to leave. Some members of Park's conservative Saenuri party have vowed to support an impeachment attempt, arguing it would serve the party's interests to distance itself from Park ahead of next year's presidential election.

Some pro-Park members of the party have even called for her to set a fixed date for resignation to allow her an "orderly exit" while an interim Cabinet named by the parliament organized a new presidential vote.

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