One Million Protesters Demand Park’s Resignation in Massive Rally

Around one million protesters held a massive rally in central Seoul on Saturday, calling for President Park Geun-hye's resignation over a scandal involving her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil.

The rally, organized by a union of some 15-hundred civic groups and labor unions, started at 4 p.m. at Seoul Plaza.

Organizers said around one million people had gathered for the protest by 7:30 p.m. in the Gwanghwamun area, while the police estimated 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.

Members of farmers' groups and labor unions started respective rallies around noon, protesting over the plunging rice prices and the government's labor policies.

As the court allowed the protesters to march up to the areas around the presidential office, protesters started a march at around 5 p.m, walking along various routes heading toward the intersections near Gyeongbokgung subway station near the presidential office.

About 25-thousand police officers were mobilized to maintain order during the protest. The demonstration peacefully ended at around ten p.m., but some eight-thousand protesters squared off with the police for hours at the intersections.

About one-thousand people remained and continued the rally through the night. The police started to disperse the crowd at around 2 a.m. Sunday and opened the roads for traffic at around 4 a.m.

Source: KBS World Radio