South Korea president’s office explains Viagra purchase


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — An increasingly strange political scandal surrounding South Korean President Park Geun-hye has now left her office defending the purchase of hundreds of erectile dysfunction pills.

Park’s office on Wednesday confirmed revelations by an opposition lawmaker that it purchased about 360 Viagra pills and the generic version of the drug in December.

The report has created a frenzy on the internet, but Park’s office says the pills were bought to potentially treat altitude sickness for presidential aides and employees on Park’s May trips to Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, whose capitals are 1 to 2 kilometers (0.6 to 1.2 miles) above sea level.

It says none of the pills were used. Local doctors sometimes prescribe Viagra-style drugs to climbers because they are thought to prevent altitude sickness.

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