SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Over the past week pressure has been mounting on South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who has been suspected of letting her longtime friend to intervene in state affairs.
Park's approval rating has fallen to 17 percent, the lowest since her inauguration in 2013, from 25 percent a week ago, according to a pollster survey by Gallup Korea.
The scandal involves Park's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil, who is without any official title in public office. Citing a former coworker of Choi, Hankyoreh newspaper reported that Choi meddled in government affairs, including Seoul's decision to shut down the Kaesong industrial complex in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation.
According to local media reports, Choi also meddled in the appointment of ministers and the editing of presidential speeches.
Supporters of Park were outraged even though the country's first female president made an unusual public apology on Tuesday to admit Choi's involvement in the editing of her speeches only during an initial period of her presidency.
Late Friday, Park ordered 10 of her senior secretaries to resign ahead of a reshuffle of her presidential office, according to media reports.
According to the Gallup Korea survey, 80 percent of respondents believed the scandal was true while only 6 percent had doubts.