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(LEAD) S. Korea lodges protest against Taiwan over sexual assaults

All News 20:45 January 23, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with meeting took place at a third location)

SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean Foreign Ministry official has summoned a senior official from the Taipei Mission in Seoul to lodge a protest against the sexual assault of two South Korean tourists by a taxi driver in Taipei, the ministry said Monday.

Chung Jin-kyu, an official at the ministry's Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs Bureau, met with the deputy head of the Taipei Mission and demanded that Taiwan punish the taxi driver and ensure that similar accidents do not recur. It was not immediately clear how the deputy head reacted.

The meeting occurred at a third location, not at the foreign ministry, at the request of the Taipei Mission, the ministry said.

The taxi driver, identified only by his surname Chan, allegedly sexually assaulted the South Koreans in Taipei earlier this month by rendering them unconscious with a drugged soft drink. A blood test confirmed that the victims had sleep-inducing drugs in their blood.

Taiwanese police have detained Chan as he partially admitted to the assaults. He is reported to have said he only meant to touch them.

South Korea severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1992 when Seoul established relations with China. China considers Taiwan a renegade province that should be reunified with the mainland.

Taiwan is one of the most popular travel destinations among South Koreans. Last year, more than 800,000 people visited the country, up by 33 percent from a previous year.


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