US Embassy denies participating in anti-Park Geun Hye rally

South Koreans holding banners and placards march in a rally against President Park Geun Hye in Seoul on Dec 3, 2016.
South Koreans holding banners and placards march in a rally against President Park Geun Hye in Seoul on Dec 3, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The US Embassy in Seoul said on Monday (Dec 5) that it did not participate in a one-minute blackout event during Saturday's protest against President Park Geun Hye.

Live television broadcasts of the candlelight vigil - the largest-ever with an estimated 2.32 million participants nationwide - showed an office of the embassy seemingly turning off its lights in tandem with the protesters.

But the embassy denied the notion and said that the lights stayed on.

The incident had sparked speculation about the US government's position on the embattled President facing impeachment over her involvement in a corruption scandal surrounding her confidante Choi Soon Sil.

The lights-out event was coordinated by rally organisers during anti-Park protests that have continued for over a month. Protesters were asked to blow out their candles at 7pm, and others at their homes or offices were also asked to observe the one minute of darkness by turning their lights off.

It was symbolic of the protesters' message that darkness, or lies, cannot blanket light, or truth. The time refers to the suspicious seven hours on the day the Sewol ferry sank in 2014, during which President Park was unaccounted for in coordinating the country's response to the disaster that killed nearly 300 people.