Anti-Park protesters march in Seoul for 5th straight week

Prosecutors investigating the case have indicted her friend, Choi Soon-sil, and are seeking to question the president about her role in the scandal.

The president has apologized twice on national television, but has so far resisted calls to resign. "It is hard to forgive myself and sleep at night with feelings of sorrow", Park said of the scandal.

Flower-patterned stickers were put on the surface of police buses that were surrounding the wall of the US embassy in South Korea to prevent an attempt to go inside. About 25,000 officers were deployed in Seoul, but there were no reports of violence.

After the march stopped by police barricades, hundreds of thousands packed the thoroughfare near Blue House, Park's official residence.

An impeachment motion at South Korea's 300-member unicameral legislature, controlled by the opposition parties, requires the support of at least half of the parliament to start and needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

While the protest in Seoul on November 12 might have been one of the largest since South Korea freed itself from dictatorship three decades ago, it's unclear how big it actually was.

Despite cold weather and the first snow of the season, a crowd that organizers estimated at 1.5 million gathered to denounce Park, who has been accused by prosecutors of helping a friend commit extortion and is facing the possibility of impeachment within weeks.

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This is the fifth straight weekend that the protests calling for Park's resignation have taken place, and the numbers keep climbing.

The demonstrations have been peaceful and nearly festive. "I don't think so", said Rhee Jong-hoon, a political commentator and research fellow at Myongji University.

Park's approval rating has slipped by 1 percentage point to reach 4 percent, the lowest for any sitting South Korean president, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

The headquarters of SK, Lotte and Samsung were raided by state prosecutors this week, along with the offices of the finance ministry and state pension fund.

Park Geun-hye's popularity and election as president in 2012 stemmed in part from the symbolic connection to her father who ruled South Korea for 18 years until he was assassinated by his spy chief in 1979. For years, she has given Park spiritual guidance.

South Korean media accused the President of following a cult and allowing cult rituals to be held in the presidential palace.

Park made two apologies in the face of public anger, but has refused calls for her resignation. The late Park is hailed by some as the mastermind behind the country's current prosperity but criticized by others as a dictator who violated human rights and crushed dissent.

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