Timeline Capsule
Time Capsule Details | BeingBlackToday.com
2018 . 04 . 06
South Korea
1st Female President Receives 24 Year Prison Sentence After Impeachment
2012  Meeting that Would Lead to President Park’s Downfall
Shortly after Park Geun-hye was elected President of South Korea, Ko Young-tae (36 years), operator of a bag manufacturing company, met Choi Soon-sil (56 years), the president’s aide, who commissioned him to design 40 bags made of ostrich skin and crocodile leather, as well as 100 clothing items for President Park, for tens of thousands of dollars.  Two years later, a personal disagreement between the two would eventually lead to President Park’s downfall.

President Park’s former clothier, Ko Young-tae (L) and former personal aide Choi Soon-sil (R) at court appearances., 2014.

2014 Ko Young-tae Resents Being Disrespected by Choi Soon-sil
Ms. Choi left a dog, belonging to her only child, in the care of Ko Young-tae, and when Ms. Choi discovered that Ko neglected the dog and went out to play golf instead, she strongly berated him. Mr. Ko stated that it was this incident was the last straw in his resentment of Ms. Choi, who often cursed at him and “treated him like a slave”. He then decided to expose the relationship dynamics of Ms. Choi to President Park that he’d witnessed over time. He began video tapping Ms. Choi, recording her giving orders to two presidential aides as if they were servants.

2015 Ko Young-tae Begins Leaking Information to the Media
In 2015, Mr. Ko turned his video over to Chosun TV, but the news channel held on to it as journalist conducted an investigation of Ms. Choi and President Park, including the investigation of two foundations set up by Ms. Choi to receive donations from business conglomerates (in exchange for favorable treatment by the government).

Later, media investigations revealed that the personal aide, Choi Soon-sil used her position to seek donations of money from several business conglomerates (known as cahebol), and that she and President Park's senior staff used their influence to extort $60 million from Korean chaebols -- family-owned large business conglomerates -- and set up two culture- and sports-related foundations, Mir and K-sports foundations.

In 2016, Mr. Ko was still peddling information to the media that Ms. Choi directly influenced and interfered with government policies, even though she had no official position in government. When interviewed by JTBC in October 2016, stated “Choi’s favorite thing to do is edit presidential speeches”. After the interview, JTBC somehow came into possession of a tablet previously owned by Ms. Choi that contained drafts of 44 speeches and statements President Park had given between 2012 and 2014.

October 24, 2016 The Media Releases Leaked Information and Reports on Its Investigation
On October 24, 2016, aired its findings, and Chosun TV followed up by releasing its incriminating video, supplied by Mr. Ko, the following day.

October 25, 2016 President Park Makes Televised Apology
In a televised address, President Park apologizes to the nation for giving Choi access to draft speeches during the first months of her presidency.

Protests against President Park
Massive rallies held across South Korea supporting the impeachment of President Park

October 26, 2016 Protests Against Park Spread Across South Korea
Protests began across South Korea calling on President Park's resignation and her approval rating dropped to 4%.

October 29, 2016 Park Dismisses Staff
President Park dismissed her top aides, two members of the cabinet, and attempted to replace prime minister Hwang Kyo-ahn with Kim Byong-joon, former aide to former president Roh Moo-hyun, but this was rejected by the National Assembly.

October 31, 2016 Choi Soon-sil Arrested
On October 31, Choi Soon-sil was arrested and formally charged with abuse of power and fraud the following month.

November 4, 2016 President Park Makes Apology
President Park made yet another apology, promising to take responsibility if she was found guilty.

November 29, 2016 President Park Makes Third Apology
Days after Ms. Choi is charged with abuse of power and fraud, President Park made a third public apology, and called for the National Assembly to decide how she should leave the office of the presidency. The following day, she appointed Park Young-soo, former head of the Seoul High Prosecutor's Office, as a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations.

December 3, 2016 Parks Impeachment Proposal Moves to National Assembly
With opinion polls showing that 78% of South Koreans support the impeachment of President Park, Woo Sang-ho of the Democratic Party, Park Jie-won of the People's Party, and Roh Hoe-chan of the Justice Party moved the "President (Park Geun-hye) impeachment proposal" in the National Assembly on behalf of 171 members of their respective parties and other independent representatives, on the grounds that Geun-hye had violated the Constitution and the law

December 9, 2016 Impeachment of Park Approved
The National Assembly approved the impeachment motion by a vote of 234 in favor and 56 against in a secret ballot.

As a result of the motion's passage, President Park's powers and duties were suspended for up to 180 days while the Constitutional Court of Korea considered the validity of the impeachment motion. It was necessary for six of the nine judges on that court to agree with the impeachment for the removal to take effect.

Protests against President Park
Supporters of President Park gather in massive rallies across South Korea

Citizens who have been rallying in massive numbers against Park rejoiced at the news, while Park's supporters called the parliamentary impeachment a "witch-hunt" without concrete evidence of Park's wrongdoings.

President Park Holds Final Cabinet Meeting
President Park held a final cabinet meeting acknowledging the impeachment motion and apologized for causing uncertainty, before Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn assumed presidential powers and duties, on an interim basis.

March 10, 2017 Parks Impeachment Upheld, Park’s Presidency Ends
The Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment in a unanimous 8–0 decision read out by Acting Chief Justice Lee Jung mi which formally ended Park's presidency.

As a result of impeachment, Park was stripped of her post-presidential benefits such as retirement pension, free medical services, state funding for her post-retirement office, personal assistants and a chauffeur and right to burial at the Seoul National Cemetery after death. However, she is entitled to retain security protection under the Presidential Security Act.

March 31, 2017 Park Arrested and Charged
Park was arrested and placed into custody after indictment by prosecutors on charges of bribery, abuse of power, coercion, and leaking government secrets.

April 6, 2018 Park Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison
Former President Park Geun-hye, age 66, was found guilty on multiple counts of abuse of power, bribery and coercion and formally sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined $17 million.