SEOUL, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Cosmetic treatments may have delayed Park Geun-hye's response to national crises like the Sewol ferry sinking and North Korea's fourth nuclear test, according to Seoul politicians who believe the South Korean president abused her power while in office.
A parliamentary hearing held Wednesday is raising questions about whether the impeached Park was receiving a cosmetic filler procedure around the time of the ferry sinking that killed more than 300 people, Yonhap reported.
According to the report, Park had breached protocol in 2014 by receiving treatment from doctors who are not on government staff, inviting them into the presidential Blue House as "security guests."
Park gave similar authorization for corruption suspect Choi Soon-sil to enter and leave the compound.
On Wednesday, opposition party legislators released before and after photos of Park that showed new bruises on Park's face after the ferry incident.
Kim Young-jae, one of the doctors who had treated Park, said the bruises on Park's face appear to be signs the president had received a "filler procedure," in order to plump up her skin and eliminate wrinkles.
Kim, however, denied he was responsible for any procedures Park may have received during the national disaster.
Opposition party politicians said Park went missing for hours on April 16, 2014, because she was occupied with cosmetic procedures.
Shin Bo-ra, the former nurse officer in the president's security service, said she delivered mouthwash to Park after the procedure because the president "was paralyzed and unable to brush her teeth," according to Sohn Hye-won of the opposition Minjoo Party.
Others legislators including those in Park's party criticized the president for reportedly being three hours late to a national security council meeting after North Korea's fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.
"There must have been grooming involved," said ruling party lawmaker Ha Tae-kyung.