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(LEAD) NIS official at LA consulate general returns home after sexual harassment allegations: lawmaker

All News 22:15 October 07, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS info on revelation of another sexual misconduct case at diplomatic mission in Nigeria in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- A senior intelligence official has been recalled from South Korea's consulate general in Los Angeles following accusations that he sexually harassed a female employee at the mission, an opposition lawmaker said Wednesday.

According to Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), the National Intelligence Service (NIS) official sexually harassed the woman at the diplomatic mission in late June. She immediately filed a complaint with local police.

The official returned home in late July under a ministry order and went back to the NIS. He has not reportedly been given any disciplinary measures over the allegations other than being sidelined from his duties.

South Korean police have conducted an investigation and referred the case to the prosecution with a recommendation that the official be indicted on charges of sexual harassment.

The case came in the wake of a high-profile sexual harassment case involving a South Korean diplomat once posted at the embassy in New Zealand.

During the parliamentary audit Wednesday, another sexual misconduct case was addressed, in which a former Korean employee at the South Korean Embassy in Nigeria allegedly sexually harassed a Nigerian female cleaner in August, according to Rep. Lee Tae-kyu of the PPP.

It was found out that the embassy never probed the case and did not report the incident to the foreign ministry in Seoul. The staff quit the job the following month.

When asked about the case during the audit, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said the case was closed as the victim did not seek punishment for the assailant, adding that the ministry is working to draw up new guidelines for diplomatic missions against sexual misconduct

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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