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Two die in protests after South Korean president removed from office

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Two protesters died during demonstrations in the South Korean capital Friday, after the country's president was removed from office over alleged corruption.

A statement from acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn also said that several people were injured during the protests in Seoul. It called the casualties regrettable and didn't provide further details on the deaths.

Hwang called for unity during a national address broadcast on South Korean television:

"We all need to respect the decision of the constitutional court. There will be people who cannot accept this and find it hard to submit to this, but now is the time to accept and end the conflict and opposition."

Earlier Friday, Park Geun-hye's presidency came to an end after a constitutional court upheld a December impeachment by South Korean lawmakers.

South Koreans immediately took to the streets in their thousands, with some groups protesting against the decision and others wildly celebrating her removal from power in emotional, sometimes violent scenes.

The country's political stability is crucial to the security of the region -- it is a key buttress against North Korea, its provocative neighbor, and a major trading partner with the US and its Asian neighbors.Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Two protesters died during demonstrations in the South Korean capital Friday, after the country's president was removed from office over alleged corruption.

A statement from acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn also said that several people were injured during the protests in Seoul. It called the casualties regrettable and didn't provide further details on the deaths.

Hwang called for unity during a national address broadcast on South Korean television:

"We all need to respect the decision of the constitutional court. There will be people who cannot accept this and find it hard to submit to this, but now is the time to accept and end the conflict and opposition."

Earlier Friday, Park Geun-hye's presidency came to an end after a constitutional court upheld a December impeachment by South Korean lawmakers.

South Koreans immediately took to the streets in their thousands, with some groups protesting against the decision and others wildly celebrating her removal from power in emotional, sometimes violent scenes.

The country's political stability is crucial to the security of the region -- it is a key buttress against North Korea, its provocative neighbor, and a major trading partner with the US and its Asian neighbors."We cannot understand impeachment for our president," another said. "She is still our president, tomorrow she will be our president."

CNN witnessed some protesters collapsing as a combination of emotion and exhaustion overcame them.

Those who opposed Park's presidency celebrated wildly as the verdict was delivered on live TV. Many endured long, freezing nights protesting her tenure as leader, camping out through long winter nights holding candlelit vigils.

They will likely hold another candlelight vigil, as a last celebration, as night falls.The US, a key ally, responded to the decision by offering assurances that the two countries' relationship would continue uninterrupted."We will continue to work with Prime Minister Hwang for the remainder of his tenure as acting President, and we look forward to a productive relationship with whomever the people of South Korea elect to be their next president," acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"The US-ROK alliance will continue to be a linchpin of regional stability and security, and we will continue to meet all our alliance commitments, especially with respect to defending against the threat from North Korea."

North Korea's official news agency noted that her immunity had been stripped, reporting that she "will be receiving (a) full-scale investigation" as a "common criminal."

Park is not the first South Korea president to have faced impeachment. In 2004, late President Roh Moo-hyun was forced out of office for two months. However, the Constitutional Court later restored Roh to power, rejecting charges of abuse of power and mismanagement.

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