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South Korean President Park Geun-hye makes a live televised address in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The embattled president said Tuesday that she will resign her office once parliament develops a plan for a safe transfer of power. (Pool Photo via AP)

South Korea's president announced she was willing to resign amidst corruption scandal

I am giving up everything now.
Park Geun-hye

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, battling a corruption scandal, announced in a televised address Tuesday that she was willing to resign and would let the National Assembly decide her fate.

Critics say the announcement was an attempt to ward off a looming impeachment vote. Some lawmakers rejected her proposal and vowed to call for her impeachment on Friday, The New York Times reports.

This came as a surprise to some reporters.

Last week, more than 1 million protesters marched in Seoul, demanding her resignation.

'Honorable retreat'

Even Park's own party, Saenuri, has called for her to resign, calling it an "honorable retreat." 

Before Tuesday's speech, Park insisted the scandal was not worth cutting short her term, which is scheduled to end in 2018. 

If she does resign, she would be the first South Korean president to do so since 1960, when founding president Syngman Rhee fled to Hawaii amidst a massive uprising.

What's this scandal about?

Park is accused of allowing a personal friend, Choi Soon-sil, to read and alter dozens of policy speeches. Choi, in turn, is accused of using her ties to Park to rake in donations for two nonprofits she runs, and then using those profits for personal use, like her daughter's dressage lessons

Park also has ties to Choi Tae-min, a religious figure described by a Korean news outlet as a "shamanistic cult" leader. The New York Times said he used his ties to Park to collect bribes.

Seoul has been rocked by massive protests for weeks.

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