>> Just when things couldn't get any worse for South Korea's impeached president, Park Geun-hye, opposition lawmakers are twisting the knife even further. The 2014 Sewol ferry disaster is now back in the spotlight as the country's massive political scandal drags on. And it'll be the sole focus of an ongoing inquiry into Park's impeachment on Wednesday.
More than 300 people died when the ferry sank off the South Korean coast, many of them children. Since then there have been lingering questions about where exactly Park was for the seven hours between the disaster and her first TV address. Reuters' James Pearson says lawmakers are now demanding a straight answer after more than two years of conspiracy theories.
>> Well, some of the many rumors which are floating around within this seven hour period. Some of them are connected to Choi Soon-sil, the friend who's at the center of the political scandal. Something which came up in one of the parliamentary hearings connected to the scandal is that Park was undergoing a kind of Botox treatment to combat the aging process.
Now some of the stuff to have come out as a result of the investigation to the relationship with her friend is that Park had been recommended certain procedures by this friend. One rumor going around is that she wasn't able to appear publicly for those first seven hours because she was undergoing some kind of treatment.
>> Park's office has details of when she received updates and gave orders. But there's no information of where she was or what she was doing. And that's spinning the South Korean rumor mill into overdrive.>> There is a tendency perhaps in South Korea to try people by public opinion.
And in fact somewhat ironically after the sinking of the Sewol ferry, Park Geun-hye herself described the captain of the ferry as a murderer. Now of course that captain had to go on to have a fair trial within the court system here after the president had actually labelled him a effectively a criminal.
>> It all adds up to more fuel for the anti Park rallies that have swamped South Korea for weeks, as the constitutional court decides whether to make her the country's first elected leader to leave in disgrace.