Chairman repents for beating up his chauffeur

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Chairman repents for beating up his chauffeur

The honorary chairman of Mong-Go Food Company apologized to the public on Monday for physically abusing his former driver, promising to take full responsibility over his “senseless behavior” and resign from his post.

Kim Man-sik’s announcement was made five days after a middle-aged man told local media he had suffered from the 77-year-old’s physical and verbal assault for the past three months, only to be urged by the company in mid-December to quit his job for unspecified reasons.

“I apologize to everyone whom I have mentally tormented, and to the public whom I have caused anxiety,” Kim declared on Monday at the company’s Changwon factory in South Gyeongsang. The “disgraceful affair was completely my fault, based on my own immaturity and shallowness,” he continued. “I will resign from my honorary chairman post and live my remaining life serving others with a modest heart,” Kim vowed.

The food company later announced that Kim’s former driver, a 43-year-old surnamed Ahn, will be offered a different position at the company starting Friday. Ahn did not immediately say whether he would take the offer.

Ahn claimed he was often smacked on the head on duty for miscellaneous reasons such as struggling to find a parking lot or driving on roads Kim was unfamiliar with. Voice recordings revealed by the victim featured Kim hurling expletives at him.

The most threatening offense, Ahn said, was when Kim kicked his scrotum on Oct. 22 and forced him to take a week off work.

“I was running an errand for Kim’s wife,” Ahn recalled, “when Kim called me and demanded to know why I wasn’t at his residence, but as I soon as I arrived on his doorstep, he suddenly kicked me in the scrotum. I collapsed right at that moment.”

“I wasn’t treated as a human,” Ahn lamented.

Founded in 1905 by a Japanese businessman, Mong-Go Food Company has a firm foothold in the domestic sauce industry.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN, WE SUNG-WOOK [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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