Asia-Pacific News

At least 2 protesters dead as Park supporters stage mass rally in South Korea

Deaths reported at South Korean protests
Deaths reported at South Korean protests
Pro-Park supporters promise 'protest of anger'
Pro-Park supporters promise 'protest of anger'
Fear of violent clashes in Seoul after President's ouster
Fear of violent clashes in Seoul after President's ouster

At least two South Korean protesters died on Friday at a street rally staged by ousted President Park Geun-hye's supporters in central Seoul, local police said.

"We confirm that two protesters against upholding impeachment have died," Lim Jae Beom, an officer at the public relations office of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, said.

Earlier in the day, both supporters and critics of Park gathered outside the Constitutional Court compound, where around 20,000 police officers stood in anticipation of potential violent clashes.

In reaction to Friday's historic ruling that removed the South Korean leader from office, loud cheers had from the anti-Park group following the Court's televised decision, while Park's supporters began expressing their anger.

They were heard singing the national anthem, and saying the president should have been protected from the impeachment ruling. Several individuals also broke through police cordons, clambered on cars and buses that had been parked as a barrier, then used ladders to get from one bus to another. Some were carried away from the scene, with little resistance.

Many of Park's backers were elderly or middle aged, and two people received first-aid emergency procedures.

A supporter of Park Geun-hye publicly mourns the South Korean president’s removal from office after the country’s Constitutional Court voted to uphold her impeachment on Mar. 10, 2017.
Jonathan Stayton | CNBC

The national police agency had raised their alert level to the highest ahead of Friday's ruling amid elevated public anger towards the embattled head of state. Since news of the scandal broke in October, mass street demonstrations have rocked Asia's fourth-largest economy.

—NBC News and CNBC's Jonathan Stayton contributed to this report.

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