President Park Chickening Out of Press Conference before Lunar New Year Holiday?

President Park Chickening Out of Press Conference before Lunar New Year Holiday?

 SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye is likely to delay her plan to hold a press conference before the Lunar New Year holiday next week, her aide said Friday.

   The impeached president has been criticized for trying to use press conferences to refute corruption allegations and rally her core supporters while refusing to attend the ongoing Constitutional Court hearing or respond to the prosecution's investigation.

   "We (now) believe that it is not appropriate for her to first hold a press conference before attending to the Constitutional Court or independent counsel proceedings," Park's aide told Yonhap News Agency over the phone, declining to be named.

   Her aides said last week that Park planned to hold a second meeting with journalists since her Dec. 9 impeachment by parliament at the presidential office before the four-day traditional holiday begins next Friday.

   "The consensus remains unchanged (among presidential aides) over the need for the president to come forward to directly make her case once again, but we are concerned that misunderstandings could arise if a press conference is held at this point," he added.

   Park has been suspended from presidential duties since she was impeached by parliament over the corruption scandal revolving around her and her longtime confident Choi Soon-sil.

   The president is alleged to have colluded with Choi in extorting money and favors from big companies including Samsung Group. She is also suspected of allowing Choi to meddle in important state affairs. Park has denied all allegations.

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