What will Choi Soon-Sil(최순실) say in her defense regarding President Park Geun-Hye(박근혜)? Will she blame Park? Will she say she was actually acting on her behalf? Her trial is expected to take place tomorrow.
That would be her strategy, according to South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo(동아일보). She has been reported as saying she only relayed her opinions to Park and Park acted on her own. So how can she be accused of anything? Park must be held accountable for her actions. She is flippantly quoted as saying:
“Do you really think I ran this country? I must have made a mockery of more than ten million voters who elected Park Geun-Hye, then.”
We have to remember, though, that when she was famously seen entering the court house, mobbed by reporters, she said, “I committed a deadly sin.”
And let’s keep her actions in perspective: she’s accused of soliciting “donations” from South Korea’s largest corporations, especially $7 million from Lotte Group, among many other things. She has been accused engineering various schemes to profit from Park and funnel funds to her own, and her family’s, accounts.
She is now saying that she’s being railroaded as she has been portrayed as the only person that profited from Park’s presidency. She is quoted as saying, “when you’re associated with the sitting president, you can’t help but profit in some way from your position.” Here, she seems to be admitting her fault to some degree. However, her strategy seems to be to downplay her role and maximize the involvement of Park and her other associates, especially those who have been arrested so far.
However, she’s adamant that she only voiced her opinions to Park — Park should be held accountable for whatever she did, whether she followed Choi’s advices or not. Choi failed to attend the public hearings held at the Korean legislature last week (where her nephew, Jang Si-Ho showed up), citing her “panic disorder.” Remember here that last week, Jang Si-Ho testified that “she couldn’t go against her aunt’s wishes,” given how all-powerful she was.
Now, are Choi’s mental issues real? At first, it looked like she does suffer from some kind of anxiety issue and depression; it had been previously reported that she was taking medications to treat such issues. Now, however, there are questions whether her panic disorder is genuine or not. Since being detained starting in November, she has not been on any medication.
As an aside, there has been another bizarre revelation: it looks like Choi, if she indeed suffers from anxiety attacks, isn’t the only one with the disorder. Ahn Jong-Beom(안종범) also is said to have one and actually brought medications for his panic disorder (as well as diabetes), when he reported to Seoul’s detention center. Two guys with anxiety issues severe enough to be on prescription medications — my guess is it might be Paxil, which is an SSRI used to treat depression as well as panic and obsessive-compulsive disorders. More on this later and what the implications are for these two anxiety-ridden suspects (one thing for sure is that there is no HIPAA in South Korea). I would suspect they might have to get on higher doses.
Whatever Choi’s issues might be, we are hoping to at least hear her speak for the first time. But it isn’t clear whether she will show up or not. What do you think will happen tomorrow?