Consul general in Japan faces investigation

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Consul general in Japan faces investigation

Seoul prosecutors have launched a probe into a Korean consul general in Japan over allegations of verbal abuse and violence against a subordinate, the prosecution office said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office last week to investigate the senior diplomat, who is suspected of having habitually used swear words when talking to her female secretary.

The official, whose identity is being withheld, is also accused of physical assaults, such as throwing a pen and a tissue box at her subordinate, according to the ministry.

The employee submitted some 20 hours of recorded conversations with her boss to the ministry audit team. She was apparently diagnosed as needing six months’ treatment for stress caused by the verbal abuse and violence.

It is the latest in a series of cases involving Korean diplomats overseas. On Monday, prosecutors said they started a probe into the ambassador to Ethiopia over alleged sexual harassment involving his female staff and volunteers.

Another official at the same embassy in the African country was fired in July after he was found to have raped a female staff member.

The ministry has collected cases of its diplomats abusing their power over lower-ranking and lower-paid contracted staffers at overseas missions as part of efforts to strengthen discipline at work.

About 40 such cases have been reported, 10 of which need internal investigations, according to the ministry.

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