A massive rally was held in downtown Seoul Saturday denouncing the Choi Soon-sil scandal and calling for President Park Geun-hye's resignation.
An emergency public action solidarity that brings together some 15-hundred civic and social groups was the host of the rally at Seoul Plaza that started at 4 p.m.
Organizers say more than one million people showed up while the police estimate the figure at 260-thousand. The rally drew the largest crowds since 1987, when more than one million citizens turned out in a pro-democracy rally. The number of participants topped 700-thousand people who turned out in 2008 to protest U.S. beef imports after the outbreak of mad cow disease in the U.S.
Protesters with candlelight in hand chanted slogans "Park Geun-hye, Step down," turning the Gwanghwamun Square stretching south from the main gate of the Gyeongbok Palace into a huge sea of candlelight. Among the participants were middle and high school students and parents accompanied by their children.
Labor circles, students, scholars, farmers and other social groups all gathered at Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall after holding respective rallies across Seoul from 2 p.m.
From 5 p.m., participants began what they called "a grand march" along several routes through the downtown area in front of the Gyeongbok Palace not very far from the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae.
Similar protest rallies were held in cities across the nation, including Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Ulsan and Jeju.
Overseas Koreans also demanded the resignation of President Park at rallies in about 30 cities in more than ten countries, including the United States, Germany, Britain, France and Japan.
Source: KBS World Radio