A South Korean court has approved an arrest warrant for former president Park Geun-hye, citing a need to keep her in custody over concerns of destruction of evidence.

The Wall Street Journal reports the decision was issued in the predawn hours on Friday.

Park will be jailed while awaiting a formal indictment, which prosecution must file within 20 days of her confinement.

Ms Park was South Korea’s first woman president and the first president to be removed by impeachment, though two of her predecessors served jail time for charges including those related to corruption.