Probe finds power abuse allegations against ambassador to China not serious enough for disciplinary action

Korean Ambassador to China Chung Jae-ho salutes the national flag during the opening ceremony of the annual ambassadors' meeting at the foreign ministry in Seoul, April 22. Yonhap

Power abuse allegations raised against Korea’s top envoy to China by one of the embassy staffers were found to not be serious enough to warrant disciplinary action, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.The ministry reached the conclusion after conducting a 10-day inquiry into the allegations that Ambassador Chung Jae-ho verbally harassed and treated the embassy official in an arrogant and authoritarian manner.The complaint also included allegations that Chung pressured Korean companies in China to pay for the costs to set up business promotion booths at embassy events.

The probe has found that while Chung did make some “inappropriate” remarks to his staff members at the embassy during some workshop sessions, the degree of impropriety was insufficient to constitute grounds for taking any disciplinary measures.It also decided to close the case regarding the alleged violation of the graft law with the embassy events, as the booths were voluntarily set up by the participating companies expecting promotional effects.The ministry plans to issue a verbal notice to Chung calling his attention to practicing caution, as it has determined that the case does not fall into the category that calls for disciplinary measures, according to a source familiar with the matter.The allegations stirred up criticism that Chung’s alleged attitude potentially amounted to a bad workplace practice known as “gapjil” in Korean.The case has also drawn attention as Chung, a former college professor, is known for his close ties with President 슬롯게이밍 Yoon Suk Yeol

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