KINU head dismissed for groping employee

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KINU head dismissed for groping employee

The head of the government-run Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) was dismissed for allegations of sexual harassing women employees.

According to sources within the government and KINU, the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences (NRC) - a body under the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of providing government support to national research - dismissed KINU President Lim Kang-taeg at a meeting last Friday. Lim was accused of inappropriately touching female employees sitting next to him at a company dinner following a parliamentary audit of KINU in early November. He was allegedly inebriated at the time, and a senior member of the institute ordered the two women employees to sit next to Lim, according to an investigation of the incident.

When the two female employees demanded an apology from Lim, he brushed aside the demand. The employees then filed a complaint to an internal committee tasked with reviewing workplace sexual harassment issues, said one source in KINU.

The NRC subsequently conducted a probe into the complaint and summoned Lim to a board meeting to hear his side of the story. But it dismissed his excuse and chose to push through with his dismissal. Lim, a researcher with more than 20 years of experience at KINU and a specialist in the North Korean economy, was appointed president of KINU last June after his predecessor Kim Yeon-chul was appointed Minister of Unification by President Moon Jae-in. Before his appointment, Lim served as an adviser to the administration in preparing for the series of inter-Korean summits throughout 2018. KINU is the South Korean government’s leading research institute in the field of unification and North Korean studies, producing academic research and analysis. Lim’s term was to run until June 2022.

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