SEOUL, South Korea – In a speech to the nation, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday that she'll resign if parliament comes up with a plan to transfer power, her latest attempt to fend off impeachment efforts and massive street protests amid prosecution claims that a corrupt confidante wielded government power from the shadows.
A transcript of her speech:
Dear respected citizens, once again I deeply apologize for causing great concern to the nation due to my negligence.
As I see the nation in distress due to the latest scandal, I think it is a natural duty for me to offer apologies even a hundred times. But even then it breaks my heart to think that it would still not resolve the huge disappointment and outrage.
Dear nation, as I look back, the journey for the past 18 years that I have been on with the nation has been such a precious time. From the time I first entered politics in 1998 to this moment today as president, I have been making every effort for the sake of the country.
Not for one moment did I pursue my private gains, and I have so far lived without ever harboring the smallest selfish motive. The problems that have emerged are from projects that I thought were serving the public interest and benefiting the country. But since I failed to properly manage those around me, (everything that happened) is my large wrongdoing.
I will give you a detailed account of the scandal in the near future.
Dear citizens, I have been agonizing over many nights what would be the right path for the country as conditions at home and overseas worsen.
Now, I would like to reveal my decision.
I will leave the matters about my fate, including the shortening of my presidential term, to be decided by the National Assembly.
If the ruling and opposition parties discuss and come up with a plan to reduce the confusion in state affairs and ensure a safe transfer of governments, I will step down from the presidential position under that schedule and by processes stated in law.
Now, I have put everything down.
I only wish that the Republic of Korea would escape the confusion and get back on track as soon as possible.
I again offer apologies to the nation and urge the political circles to bring wisdom together for the hopeful future of the Republic of Korea.