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South Korea's President Park Geun-hye asked parliament to decide how she can step down after a corruption scandal that has created a political crisis. The offer to step down comes as the country is facing a slowdown — exports to other countries are down, and shipyards are expected to lay off 60,000 jobs due to lack of orders.
The political instability also comes as the country's relationship with China has been strained after the implementation of a U.S. missile defense shield. China conducted a major live fire military drill with more than 100 ships in response to the shield.
President Park's father, Chung Hee, became president of South Korea after a military coup in 1961, something that ushered in the Third Republic of South Korea. He was assassinated by the chief of his security services in 1979.
Carter Eckert, author of "Park Chung Hee and Modern Korea: The Roots of Militarism, 1866-1945," look at the likelihood of her impeachment, and examines her leadership in the context of her father’s historic and despotic rule.