Park Geun-hye

S. Korea's interim leader was Park defender; powers unclear

The man who takes over as government caretaker in the wake of President Park Geun-hye's impeachment is seen by critics as a stiff and uncompromising defender of the fallen leader.

How loyal is Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn? As the corruption scandal that would bring Park down raged last month, popularly called "Choi Soon-sil Gate" after the confidante Park was alleged to have ceded government power to, Hwang suggested that it was really all his fault, not Park's, because he had failed to support her properly.

"Amazing," opposition lawmaker Roh Hoechan sarcastically replied. "So this was 'Hwang Kyo-ahn Gate' all along?"

Hwang, 59, was a...