Last December, the Korean National Assembly voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye, and her case is now under consideration at the Constitutional Court. If the Court upholds the Assembly vote, she will be the first Korean President to be impeached. South Korea will also hold a presidential election within 60 days of the impeachment. While it is not yet clear whether she will be impeached, the nation has experienced political turmoil for the last several months. What has led to the current political situation? What is unique to this case, compared to previous political scandals? Is Korea witnessing a crisis of democracy, or simply growing pains in its progress toward more mature governance? This panel will discuss the candlelight protests that initiated the push for her impeachment, the implications of the impeachment process for domestic politics, and the effects of political leadership crises on foreign relations.
Jiyeon Kang, assistant professor of communication studies and Korean studies, University of Iowa
Gi-Wook Shin, professor of sociology; director, Shorentstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
Kathleen Stephens, William J. Perry Fellow, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University; former U.S. ambassador to South Korea
Moderated by Yumi Moon, associate professor of history, Stanford University