'S. Korean diplomat also raped 12-year-old girl in Chile' - The Korea Times
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'S. Korean diplomat also raped 12-year-old girl in Chile'

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Foreign ministry summons Park for investigation

By Jun Ji-hye

A screengrab from a Chilean TV program showing South Korean diplomat Park Jeong-hak attempting to kiss an actress disguised as a teenage girl.
A screengrab from a Chilean TV program showing South Korean diplomat Park Jeong-hak attempting to kiss an actress disguised as a teenage girl.
A South Korean diplomat in Chile accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls was summoned home, Tuesday, to face questioning by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to diplomatic sources.

"The diplomat returned home early this morning in accordance with the ministry's summons," the source said on condition of anonymity.

The diplomat, named Park Jeong-hak, was in charge of promoting K-pop at the Korean Embassy to Chile. He was accused of making improper physical contact with a 14-year-old Chilean girl in September while teaching Korean.

Park's inappropriate actions were made public after a Chilean broadcaster aired, Sunday (local time), film of him sexually abusing an actress disguised as a teenage girl captured by a hidden camera. The broadcaster planned the program, in which it had the actress deliberately lure him, after receiving a tip-off from the parents of a victim.

After the airing of the program called "En Su Propia Trampa" (In Your Own Trap), which sparked public fury in the Latin American country, Yoon Seo-ho, a Korean immigrant who has lived in Chile for 12 years, told a CBS radio program, Tuesday, that the diplomat had been notorious for his sexual offenses even before the program was aired.

The diplomat was also accused of raping a 12-year-old girl as well as sexually harassing the Chilean wife of a Korean immigrant, Yoon said.

Yoon added that Korean residents in Chile have been also expressing their anger at the diplomat's behavior that has caused anger towards Koreans in Chile.

The ministry plans to conduct its own investigation immediately.

It earlier said it will deal with the case with "no tolerance" and plans to push for disciplinary measures and criminal charges.

The ministry has also been rushing to alleviate the anger in Chile.

Before summoning the diplomat, the ministry submitted a statement written by him to the Chilean prosecution.

For his part, Korean Ambassador to Chile Yu Ji-eun also issued an apology to the victims, their families and the Chilean people, vowing to conduct a thorough investigation and take stern action.

"I and the Korean Embassy truly apologize for the shock and scars caused by the diplomat's shameful behavior," Yu said. "The Korean government will take due and sure action in accordance with laws and keenly cooperate with the Chilean government in dealing with the issue."

The ambassador also said the Korean government will make every effort to maintain friendly relations between the two countries despite the incident.

On Monday, the ministry invited the Chilean Ambassador to Korea, Fernando Danus, to its offices, to provide a detailed explanation of what actions the government will take against the diplomat.

Jun Ji-hye jjh@koreatimes.co.kr

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