South Korea: Controversy continues to dog impeached President Park Geu-hye

Namrata Tripathi
South Korea dogs

The ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye is at the centre of another controversy. Now, an animal rights group has accused Park of abandoning her nine dogs when she left the presidential palace last week.

The impeached president was stripped of her powers by the Constitutional Court last week following a corruption scandal that plunged the country into a political turmoil.

An impeachment vote was held last December and members of her own party voted against her in a National Assembly motion. There have been massive protests against Park, with thousands taking to the streets demanding her ouster. Her relationship with close friend Choi Soon-sil reportedly led to the latter's increase in influence in government and financial benefits.

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Park, who is the country's first female leader, has also become South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be removed from office ever since democracy was introduced in the country in the late 1980s.

Soon after the top court's pronouncement, Park had to leave the presidential palace and move to her house in an affluent district of Seoul. However, reports state that she did not let her nine Jindo dogs tag along when she left the Blue House.

South Korean President Park Guen-hye

The Busan Korea Alliance for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (Busan Kapca) said Park may have violated animal protection laws by abandoning her dogs.

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Busan Kapca along with Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (Care) claimed that Park had abandoned her pets and both the organisations offered to find new homes for the impeached president's dogs. 

A spokesperson of the presidential palace Cheong Wa Dae, however, denied the allegations made against Park and told Reuters that the dogs had been left at the palace because it would not be good for them to be uprooted from their home.

"She told... staff to take good care of the dogs and to find good foster homes for the puppies if necessary," the spokesperson said.

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Reports state that Park was renowned for her fondness of her pets, who were also called the country's "First Dogs," according to BBC reports.

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