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Members of Samsung's founding family said it was their "civic responsibility" to pay off a massive inheritance tax bill, after Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee passed away last year.
Hopes for effective dialogue with North Korea have been weakened as voters and opposition parties call for a domestic focus. The Democratic Party's fall in the polls could bring about sharp changes in government policy.
The country's first female leader was impeached in 2017 for bribery and other crimes. But the finalizing of her sentence means Park is now eligible for a special pardon.
The heir to the Samsung conglomerate is going back to jail and South Korea is again examining the dirty intersection of all-powerful "chaebols" and political leadership.
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