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Ministry receives human rights panel's recommendation on New Zealand sexual abuse case

All News 11:00 September 03, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- The state human rights watchdog has given the foreign ministry a recommendation of measures with regard to a sexual abuse case involving a South Korean diplomat once stationed in New Zealand, officials said Thursday.

Ministry officials said they would take "necessary steps" in response to the National Human Rights Commission's nonbinding recommendation, but they refused to reveal details of the recommendation, citing the sensitivity of the issue and its internal assessment of the recommendation.

A former local employee at Korea's Embassy in Wellington has accused the senior diplomat of groping him on three occasions in 2017, a case that resurfaced after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised the issue in July phone talks with President Moon Jae-in.

"The ministry received the commission's recommendation and will take necessary steps after thoroughly poring over related content," a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

A government institution is supposed to hand in its implementation plan within 90 days of its receipt of the commission's recommendation, though it is not legally binding.

The diplomat in question was moved to a new post in the Philippines in 2018 and was disciplined with a reduction in salary for a month. He recently came back home at the ministry's order after the case resurfaced.


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