SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korean police detained a man who rammed a large excavator into a gate Tuesday near the office where prosecutors questioned a woman at the center of a scandal that threatens the country’s president.
The woman had earlier said she “deserves death” and the detained man said he “came here to help her die.”
The attack with heavy construction equipment on a government building is part of a frenzy of emotion in South Korea over the woman, Choi Soon-sil, whom prosecutors have detained as they examine whether she used her close ties to President Park Geun-hye to pull government strings from the shadows and amass an illicit fortune.
Prosecutors are expected to quickly seek an arrest warrant for Choi, who was swarmed Monday by hundreds of journalists and protesters as she tried to enter the prosecution office.
Choi, a cult leader’s daughter with a decades-long connection to Park, was nearly knocked off her feet several times as the crowd closed in on her. Protesters screamed for her arrest and Park’s resignation; one angry person reportedly tried to enter the building with a bucket full of animal feces; and Choi, 60, lost her Prada shoe in the scrum.
Social media is now awash with images of the discarded black footwear and the word, “Soonderella,” a combination of parts of Choi’s name and the girl from the fairy tale who leaves behind a glass slipper at a ball.