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By upholding Park Geun-hye's impeachment on Friday morning, the Constitutional Court has opened a new chapter in South Korean political history. In what is being called "the trial of the century", the heir to the Samsung empire went on trial Thursday alleged to have made payments of up to $38 million to Park and her adviser Choi Soon-sil.

Ms Park is accused of giving her friend unauthorised access to government decisions and allowing her to exploit their close relationship.

"Now with the impeachment of President Park, with the political process very much in an uncertain period of time, it is more likely that unexpected negative events may happen on the Korean peninsula bringing damage not only to North Korea and South Korea but neighboring countries like China", he said.

"The president has to use her power based on the constitution and the laws and have the details of her work shown transparently so that people can evaluate her works", said Lee.

She became South Korea's first woman leader after winning the 2012 election with 51.6% of the vote, defeating former human-rights lawyer Moon Jae-in.

Hwang spoke following clashes with police that broke out outside the nation's highest court after a panel of judges voted unanimously to uphold a legislative impeachment of Park. They say she pressured the Samsung Group to make payments of about $37 million to a confidant's businesses in exchange for help pushing through approval of a controversial merger between two of the tech giant's affiliates.

The United States is closely monitoring developments in South Korea, including its upcoming presidential election, the White House said Friday as it reaffirmed the alliance with Seoul in the wake of the ouster of President Park Geun-hye from office. Park Geun-hye has said she regrets those aspects of her father's iron-fisted rule.

The scandal has rocked South Korea - and not just because it involves the president.

Park is accused of colluding with Choi to extract money from the firms and letting the friend handle a wide range of state affairs, including the nomination of cabinet members. She could be interrogated by prosecutors seeking to indict her on criminal charges. The benchmark KOSPI index has gained 4.6 percent in dollar terms since Park's impeachment on December 9, outpacing Japan's Nikkei 225, while the won has been among Asia's top performers in that time. Businessman James Kim, 43, said: "I totally agree with the court's decision".


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