Arrest sought for President Park's friend Choi in S Korea corruption row

South Korean prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant for a friend of President Park Geun-hye amid a scandal that threatens to bring down her administration.

Choi Soon-sil was detained on Monday, accused of influence peddling and interfering in state affairs.

Eight banks have also been raided in connection with the scandal, South Korean media reported.

The scandal has prompted widespread anger.

Critics say Ms Choi used her closeness to the president to solicit corporate money for foundations she ran, as well as embezzling state funds and directing presidential decisions, despite a lack of office, expertise or security clearance.

Seoul Central District Court will review the request for an arrest warrant for Ms Choi on Thursday, a court spokesman said.

South Korea's president has responded by reshuffling her government.

Kim Byong-joon, a senior presidential secretary under a previous administration, was named as prime minister to replace Hwang Kyo-ahn. The role of prime minister is largely symbolic in South Korea, where power is concentrated in the presidency.

Yim Jong-yong, currently Financial Services Commission chairman, was named as the new finance minister and deputy prime minister, replacing Yoo Il-ho.

A new minister of public safety and security has also been appointed.

But the opposition says the reshuffle is an attempt to deflect attention from Ms Choi.

Surveys show Ms Park's approval rating is about 10% and about half of respondents say she should resign or face impeachment.

Four men took own lives after webcam blackmail Katy Perry gets charity award for her work with children from Hillary Clinton Philip Morris could stop making conventional cigarettes Trump eyes ex-Goldman banker Steve Mnuchin for Treasury CIA chief warns Trump: Scrapping Iran deal 'height of folly' Thousands 'miss out on stroke treatment' Samsung Electronics considers splitting firm in two South Korea's President Park 'willing to resign' Brazil Chapecoense football team in Colombia plane crash Bird flu: Netherlands culls 190,000 ducks Trump dismisses Wisconsin recount drive as 'scam' Fidel Castro death: Cubans mourn ex-leader Women in science pledge to combat hate Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Five tips for spotting a bargain Lung cancer cells spread like unanchored tents, study says Abducted California woman Sherri Papini found after three weeks Brazil president Michel Temer accused of corruption Predatory bacteria can wipe out superbugs, says study Catherine Zeta-Jones takes aim at paparazzi with 'better' bikini photos Colombia signs new peace deal with Farc Israel fires: Tens of thousands flee as fires hit Haifa Shia pilgrims among more than 80 killed in IS attack in Iraq Climate changing 'too fast' for species
Today For week For Month
website by Sargssyan