South Korea's Park accepts resignations of top aides amid crisis

October 30, 2016 4:51 AM EDT

Protesters take part in a protest denouncing South Korean President Park Geun-hye over a recent influence-peddling scandal in central Seoul, South Korea, October 29, 2016. The banner reads, "Call for Park Geun-hye to step down". REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

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SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Park Geun-hye has accepted the resignations of her top presidential aides, including the chief of staff, the presidential office said on Sunday, amid a deepening political crisis.

The departure of the top presidential officials comes as Park is grappling with a recent influence-peddling scandal involving an old friend, Choi Soon-sil.

Choi returned to South Korea from Germany on Sunday as the political crisis engulfed Park over allegations that she allowed Choi to use her friendship to exert improper influence and benefit personally.

Jeong Yeon-guk, a spokesman for the presidential office, announced on Sunday that three long-time Park aides had also stepped down.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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