What Does Park's Resignation Offer Mean?

Korea Chair Snapshot

  • President Park Geun-hye has basically answered the opposition's protests to her leadership in the current crisis with her own challenge: Provide a plan for an orderly transition of power and she will abide by it.
  • The question now is whether the opposition forces can take "yes" for an answer and agree on a bipartisan plan.
  • Park’s “conditional” resignation puts pressure on the legislature to find a solution. The onset of winter also may diminish the energy of the popular outdoor protests every weekend for Park's resignation.
  • A coalition of Minjoo, Saenuri, People's, and minor parties may have enough votes for an impeachment motion but this would still need review by the conservative Constitutional Court within 6 months.
  • The first quarter of 2017 will see two members rotate off of the constitutional court, which will narrow greatly the margin for error in terms of evaluating the impeachment motion.
  • At present, none of the parties are ready for a snap election 60 days after impeachment or resignation in terms of either selection of candidates, ground game, or platforms. They would need about six months to get organized which offers some notion of the timeline for this crisis resolving itself.

Korea Chair Snapshot is a product by the CSIS Korea Chair providing key takeaways from breaking events of the day and is published by the Office of the Korea Chair (http://www.csis.org/ program/korea-chair) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a private, tax-exempt institution focusing on international public policy issues.

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Victor Cha
Senior Vice President for Asia and Korea Chair