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South Korea

South Korean President Sacks Spokesman Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

YONHAP NEWS AGENCY, KOREA TIMES, KOREAN HERALD (Korea)

Worldcrunch

SEOUL – South Korean President Park Geun-hye fired her spokesman Yoon Chang-jung on Friday, amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman during an official visit to the United States.

According to the President’s office, Yoon Chang–jung was dismissed on the grounds that he had committed an “unsavory” act on Tuesday, during Park Geun-hye’s first official visit to the U.S., the Korea Times reports.

The Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that they were investigating the report of a Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse, describing the suspect as a 56-year-old male, although not confirming his identity. The Korea Times also reveals that the victim reported the suspect “grabbed her buttocks without her permission,” on Tuesday night at a Washington hotel.

“The decision was made as it was deemed that Yoon showed inappropriate conduct as a high-ranking official and damaged the dignity of the country by being involved in a disgraceful event personally,” said Lee Nam-ki, senior secretary for public relations, the Korean Herald reports.

This scandal is a serious setback for the South Korean President, who had just started regaining popularity in her handling of tensions with North Korea, Yonhap News Agency explains.

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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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