Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - The foreign ministry of South Korea has suspended a senior diplomat in Auckland from regular duties for alleged ethical lapses, a ministry official said yesterday.
The consul general in Auckland, whose name was withheld, was called home on June 15 after being accused of engaging in a scuffle with a fellow Korean official posted in New Zealand and sexually harassing female embassy staff.
The ministry will hold a disciplinary committee on Tuesday to decide the level of punishment for the diplomat, the official said on the condition of anonymity.
The consul general has been accused of allegedly touching some female staff at a karaoke bar in Auckland, but he denied the allegations.
The alleged brawl between the consul general in Auckland and the Korean education ministry official also erupted on June 14 over budget uses for the Korean education centre in New Zealand, ministry officials said earlier.
The education ministry official is in charge of the Korean education centre.
The foreign ministry sent a team of investigators to the Korean consular office in Auckland, where the scuffle broke out, and checked CCTV footage of the dispute, officials said.
The ministry has declared a zero-tolerance policy on lapses involving diplomats since former foreign minister Yu Myung-hwan resigned in 2010 over accusations of nepotism involving his daughter.