Anchor: Amid the growing controversy and public outrage over President Park Geun-hye's longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, the president ordered all ten of her senior secretaries to step down. The decision came just a few days after she offered a public apology over the scandal. The first batch of the personnel reshuffle is expected to be unveiled as early as next week.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: Mired in the largest political scandal it ever faced, the Park Geun-hye administration announced that all ten senior presidential secretaries were ordered to step down.
In a text message to reporters Friday night, Presidential Spokesman Jung Youn-kuk revealed Park's decision.
The president was under enormous pressure to dismiss key aides and Cabinet ministers to turn over a new leaf since her apologetic news conference on Tuesday.
At the news conference, Park admitted to media accusations that her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil was involved in drafting presidential speeches. But her confession only added weight to snowballing suspicions that Choi did more than just fixing speeches.
The 60-year old friend of the president has already been accused of wielding influence in policy and personnel decisions and being involved in illicit business practices tied to two private foundations which, some argue, were to be used as the basis of the president's post-retirement activities.
Among the ten presidential aides of Park, Chief Policy Coordinator Ahn Jong-beom and Senior Civil Affairs Secretary Woo Byung-woo are at the center of the scandal. Ahn is allegedly involved in raising funds for the foundations and the other failed to prevent the influence peddling as he is known to be a close associate of Choi.
Park's Chief of Staff Lee Won-jong already offered to resign Wednesday. Along with the chief-level secretaries, the president is also expected to dismiss her closest entourage of three, who have aided her since 1998.
Widely criticized as the three door knobs to the president, Private Presidential Secretary Jeong Ho-seong, Secretary for General Affairs Lee Jae-man and PR Secretary Ahn Bong-geun are also blamed for their parts in the current scandal.
Multiple officials at the top office said that the president is expected to introduce the first batch of her personnel decisions early next week.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.
Source: KBS World Radio