South Korea pardons ex-president Park Geun-hye

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in has decided to pardon former President Park Geun-hye, who has been imprisoned for 57 months over corruption charges, the justice ministry said Friday.

Park was included in the list of Moon’s special amnesty granted to 3,094 inmates for the new year.

He was sentenced to a combined 22-year prison term, and has been serving the sentence since March 2017 after being impeached and removed from office over corruption charges.

President Moon said, “The country desperately needs national unity and humble inclusiveness, given a lot of challenges facing the country, according to the presidential Blue House.”

He also considered the deteriorated health for the former President Park, hoping that the pardon could become an opportunity for national unity, harmonization and a new era that goes beyond the difference of thoughts.

Park will be released on Dec. 31 from a hospital in Seoul. The 69-year-old has been hospitalized for one month due to her chronic shoulder and waist pain. She received a shoulder surgery in 2019.

Han Myeong-sook, who served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007 under the liberal Roh Moo-hyun government, is also on the list of Moon’s special amnesty.

Han was convicted of bribery in 2015 and completing her two-year prison term in 2017.

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