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SOUTH KOREA (AFP) – Thousands of protesters braved sleet and freezing temperatures in Seoul on Saturday to demand President Park Geun-Hye resign over a corruption scandal or face impeachment.
Police said 25,000 officers had been deployed across the South Korean capital and roads leading to the presidential Blue House had been blocked as organisers estimated up to 1.5 million people could attend the rally.
Another half a million people are expected to demonstrate in provincial cities.
“I don’t think Park would step down voluntarily, but we need to raise our voice as much as possible to encourage parliament to push through with its move to impeach her,” Lee Seung-Cheol, a 23-year-old student, told AFP.
There was a festive mood among protesters, who were wearing raincoats and clutching umbrellas to protect themselves against the cold and wet weather.
Food, placards and leaflets were being handed out, street vendors were selling candles and chairs, and some protestors were dancing to music being blared from loudspeakers.
“I came here because I wanted to show my children that people are the owner of this country, not the power holders,” Shim Kyu-Il, a 47-year-old company employee, said.