WATCH: 'Unique' S. Korea political scandal explained


Posted at Dec 06 2016 07:05 PM | Updated as of Dec 07 2016 09:51 AM

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Although practically every administration in South Korea for the past decade has faced one corruption scandal or the other, foreign relations analyst Richard Heydarian said there is something unique about its current debacle.

"It's not the usual case of someone's brother or someone's kids or someone's parents doing something fishy where some sort of corruption issue was involved," he said.

Some say that Park Geun-Hye, the embattled South Korean President and daughter of the late dictator Park Chung-hee, was influence-peddled by her spiritual advisor, Choi Soon-sil.

"This is a strange issue because the Koreans are used to seeing corruption, but not this kind, where you have a spiritual adviser essentially, in the view of a lot of people, telling the president what to do," said Heydarian.

"The incidents have struck at the heart and the core of the South Korean psyche in so many ways, and it's unique," he added.

However, Park, whose approval rating is down to 4%, refuses to step down. She did say last week though that she is willing to relinquish some of her power.

Heydarian noted that Park's argument was that she was willing to resign under certain conditions, considering the next presidential election is set for December 2017 and would need orderly transition.

Opposition, however, argued that she "dangled" the resignation option to prevent actual impeachment because there were enough numbers in the parliament to impeach her last week.

Now, there are two proposals as to when she should step down from power--in June or in April--and Heydarian explained, the delay instead of doing it immediately is for her to save herself and some others from impending prosecution.

"It's a term of surrender that she's basically negotiating," he said.