No, President Park Was Not Getting Plastic Surgery as the Sewol Ferry Sank in 2014 Says Blue House
SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Friday denied as "groundless" allegations that President Park Geun-hye received plastic surgery during a 2014 ferry disaster.
Despite Cheong Wa Dae's repeated denials, allegations have continued to dog Park that she was absent from her office for some seven hours during the sinking of the Sewol ferry on April 16, which left more than 300 passengers, mostly young students, dead or missing.
Presidential spokesman Jung Youn-kuk stressed that "malicious" reports on the allegations constitute "grave" libel.
"The continuing allegations that Park underwent plastic surgery on the day the ferry Sewol sank are totally groundless rumors," he told reporters, stressing that the president herself reconfirmed that the allegations were unfounded.'
The spokesman also stressed that the president on the day of the accident received a total of 15 briefings on the tragedy, and that the president's security staff confirmed that no outsider or hospital vehicle ever visited the presidential residence on the day.
Jung, in addition, pointed out that the plastic surgeon suspected of operating on Park went golfing in Incheon on the day of the disaster. Earlier this week, the surgeon disclosed a receipt as evidence that he paid greens fees on the tragic day.
The spokesman also dismissed fresh allegations that Park had used an unofficial mobile phone that a person, who is implicated in a snowballing scandal involving her close confidante, gave to the president.
"The president does not use any phone other than one that the presidential office has provided to her," Jung said, adding that groundless allegations are going "too far."
"We call for your prudence," he implored.
With the president rocked by the massive corruption scandal, a series of rumors have further dented her already troubled leadership.
The scandal has sent her approval ratings plunging into a woeful single digit and triggered nationwide calls for her to step aside.