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Foreign ministry voices regret over diplomat's alleged sexual assault in Chile

All Headlines 18:09 December 19, 2016

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- The foreign ministry voiced regret on Monday over a South Korean diplomat's alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl in Chile, pledging increased efforts to prevent similar cases.

The South Korean diplomat who was in charge of cultural affairs at a South Korean foreign mission in Chile was accused of making improper physical contact with a 14-year-old Chilean girl in September while teaching Korean.

Tipped off by the girl, a local television channel filmed and broadcast earlier this month the diplomat's sexual harassment of another woman who was acting as a teenage girl receiving a Korean language lesson.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs "is extremely sorry for the occurrence and plans to tighten discipline in order to prevent a repeat of similar cases," it said in a press release.

The ministry will apply a "zero-tolerance" policy to serious misdeeds by diplomats like the sexual abuse of teenagers, the press release said, also vowing stern follow-up measures.

The accused diplomat had his duties immediately suspended after the allegation and is undergoing a criminal investigation in Chile, according to the ministry.

He will also face a separate internal investigation by the foreign ministry as soon as he returns home, and based on the probe results, the ministry will consider seeking criminal charges against him, it also said.

The South Korean ambassador to Chile is also set to make an official apology over the incident, according to the ministry.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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