Hundreds of thousands of protestors returned to the streets of Seoul on January 7, demanding impeached President Park Geun-hye's immediate removal. A South Korean monk set fire to himself as part of the protest. Photo: AFP
Hundreds of thousands of protestors returned to the streets of Seoul on January 7, demanding impeached President Park Geun-hye's immediate removal. A South Korean monk set fire to himself as part of the protest. Photo: AFP

Monk sets himself on fire at anti-Park protest

Buddhist monk in critical condition after setting himself on fire during a protest against impeached president

January 8, 2017 2:39 PM (UTC+8)

A South Korean Buddhist monk is in critical condition after setting himself on fire during a mass protest against the impeached President Park Geun-hye, officials said Sunday.

The monk, in his 60s and whose name was not released, set himself alight late Saturday night in central Seoul where hundreds of thousands returned to the streets for the 11th week to demand Park’s ouster. He suffered third-degree burns across his body and remains unconscious, according to police and staff at Seoul National University Hospital.

He left a note urging authorities to arrest the scandal-hit president for committing “treason,” Yonhap news agency reported.

Park was impeached by parliament last month over an influence-peddling scandal that sparked a storm of public fury and nationwide protests, and the Constitutional Court now has to decide whether to confirm the impeachment.

The monk also slammed Park for forging a 2015 deal with Japan to settle compensation for women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during the World War II, Yonhap said. Critics say the deal did not go far enough in holding Japan responsible for wartime abuses.

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