S Korea parliament approves bill for special prosecutor in political scandal

SEOUL - South Korea's parliament on Thursday approved a bill to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate a corruption scandal engulfing President Park Geun-hye, sharply raising political pressure on her to step down.

The motion proposed by the main opposition Democratic Party passed by a vote of 196 in the 300-seat assembly, indicating some members of Park's ruling Saenuri Party backed the bill.

The government has been rocked by allegations that a friend used her ties to Park to meddle in state affairs and wield improper influence, triggering calls for the president to be impeached or step down.