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(LEAD) Busan mayor resigns over sexual harassment

All News 14:14 April 23, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline and lead; UPDATES quote in para 2; ADDS details from 4th para)

BUSAN, April 23 (Yonhap) -- The mayor of Busan, South Korea's largest port city, on Thursday resigned and apologized for sexual harassment.

"In a short meeting that lasted five minutes, there was unnecessary physical contact with a person. I realized that this could be recognized as an indecent assault, (something) that should not been done," the city's Mayor Oh Keo-don said in a press briefing.

"As a public servant who takes responsibility, I will live my remaining life repenting and taking responsibility for this mistake," the mayor said as he cried. "I'm at fault for everything."

Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don speaks at a press conference held at Busan City Hall on April 23, 2020. (Yonhap)

Oh reportedly touched a female civil servant inappropriately during a recent meeting at his office.

The victim is known to have reported the incident to a sexual violence relief center and demanded the mayor step down.

The municipal assembly of Busan said it has received his resignation letter, which has immediately gone into effect according to assembly rule.

Oh was elected as the mayor of Busan, 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in the 2018 gubernatorial elections.

The mayoral post will be temporarily filled by the city's vice mayor for administrative affairs until the by-election scheduled for April 2021.

His political aides are also expected to resign.

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