South Korea: Constitutional court upholds President Park Geun-hye's impeachment
South Korea's Constitutional Court has upheld a decision by the country's National Assembly to impeach President Park Geun-hye, CNN reports.
The decision was unanimous, with all eight judges on the court voting to remove Park, the country's first female president, from office.Park is the first South Korean president to be impeached.
An election for her replacement must be held within 60 days, with Prime Minister and acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn to set the day.
The decision was announced by Justice Lee Jung-mi in a live, national broadcast.
Police issued the highest level of emergency order possible in Seoul ahead of Friday's announcement.
About 21,000 officers are on standby for expected protests, with 270 units being mobilized.
The US, a key ally, responded to the decision by offering assurances that the two countries' relationship would continue uninterrupted.
"We will continue to work with Prime Minister Hwang for the remainder of his tenure as acting President, and we look forward to a productive relationship with whomever the people of South Korea elect to be their next president," acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
"The United States continues to be a steadfast ally, friend, and partner to the ROK," he said, using the acronym for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.
"The US-ROK alliance will continue to be a linchpin of regional stability and security, and we will continue to meet all our alliance commitments, especially with respect to defending against the threat from North Korea."