Our top story this afternoon
A local court has approved an arrest warrant for Samsung's billionaire heir apparent Lee Jae-yong in connection to the massive corruption scandal that has engulfed Korea in recent months.
We now connect live to our Hwang Hojun at the independent counsel office.
Hojun, give us the details
Daeun, this is the first time the head of Samsung Group has been arrested in its almost 80-year history.
Lee Jae-yong's arrest is expected to have as yet untold repercussions not only on the investigation but also on the Korean economy.
The Seoul Central District Court approved the arrest warrant requested by the independent counsel team in the early hours of Friday morning.
This was the team's second request, which it filed on Tuesday.
In filing for the second warrant, the counsel expanded the charges against Lee to include diverting assets overseas and concealing the gains from a criminal act.
That's on top of the original charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury the team filed against Lee with its first arrest warrant request that was rejected last month.
The court explained its ruling via a text message to reporters, saying (quote) "the rationale for and the necessity of Lee's arrest is acknowledged considering the new charges and additional evidence collected."
The Korean tech giant is accused of giving money, nearly 38 million dollars to entities controlled by President Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil, in exchange for support of a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates, that was deemed critical to finalizing Lee's succession to the top of Samsung Group.
Following the court's decision, Lee will stay at a detention center in Uiwang, south of Seoul, where he had been waiting for the ruling overnight.
The conglomerate's decision-making body, the Samsung Future Strategy Office, says it will do its best to prepare for the trial and uncover the truth behind this case.
The independent counsel's spokesperson is set to give a briefing in less than an half-an-hour on what effect Lee's arrest might have on the ongoing probe.
Back to you Daeun.