Park vows to clear up all suspicions in election meddling scandal
SEOUL, Oct. 31 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye pledged Thursday to clear up all suspicions surrounding the alleged state tampering of last year's presidential race and punish those responsible for any wrongdoing.
It marked Park's first comment on the election meddling scandal since the case drew massive traction earlier this month with fresh allegations that the alleged state meddling in December's presidential vote was much more extensive than originally thought.
"I personally didn't do anything suspicious, but suspicions have been raised that state agencies meddled in the election. I will clearly shed light on those suspicions without fail" and punish those responsible, Park said during a meeting with senior secretaries.
The remarks were similar to those issued earlier this week in a special statement by Prime Minister Chung Hong-won. That statement was seen as an indirect response by Park to the opposition demand that she state her position on the snowballing scandal.
The scandal, which began nearly a year ago, centers on allegations that state agencies, including the National Intelligence Service, attempted to influence the tight presidential race with online political postings designed in favor of Park.
Park has categorically denied any link to the scandal, saying she neither had any knowledge of the agency's alleged wrongdoing nor did she benefit from it. The spy agency has also claimed the online activity was part of its routine anti-North Korea psychological warfare.