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Park Geun-hye, former president of South Korea, is escorted by a prison officer as she arrives at the Seoul Central District Court on July 27, 2017. Photo: Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s former president and the first in the country's history to be impeached, was sentenced to 24 years in prison last week and fined $16 million for charges of corruption, as the Korean public watched the verdict broadcast live. Park once enjoyed the honor of being not only Korea's first female president but also the daughter of a former president, Park Chung-hee.

Why it matters: The imprisonment of Park, a conservative, furthers a historic leftward shift in Korea. Long dominated by the right, the political landscape is now being seized by progressives. We can expect the battle between the opposing forces to intensify as the two sides confront each other on issues such as North Korea and the U.S.–ROK alliance.

Conservatism has ruled national politics in Korea since the establishment of the Republic in 1948. But Park is now the second conservative president to be jailed; her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, was arrested on multiple corruption charges. With the liberal Moon government, only the third progressive administration in Korea's history, in power, conservatives have been left in disarray.

What's next: Park has been boycotting her court trials, dismissing them as “political retaliation,” and it remains to be seen whether she will appeal the ruling. Lee's trials are also set to begin soon.

Gi-Wook Shin is chair of Korean Studies at Stanford University, director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.