South Korea to hold election May 9, prosecutors summon ousted Park

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SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said on Wednesday it will hold an election on May 9 to choose a successor for former President Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office in a historic court ruling last week over a widening corruption scandal.

Prosecutors said on Wednesday Park – the first democratically elected president to be removed from office in South Korea – would be summoned for questioning on Tuesday into the influence-peddling scandal.

The Constitutional Court dismissed Park from office on Friday when it upheld a parliamentary impeachment vote in December.

Park has denied any wrongdoing.

The Samsung Group [SAGR.UL], South Korea’s largest conglomerate, is already embroiled in the scandal and the Yonhap news agency said prosecutors had started investigating two other conglomerates – the Lotte Group and SK Group.

Samsung denies any wrongdoing. Spokesman for both the SK Group and Lotte said they would cooperate with the investigation.

The turmoil comes at a time of rising tension with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programmes, and with China over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea that China sees as a threat to its security.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit South Korea, as well as Japan and China, this week.   Continued…

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