Belgium recalls ambassador to South Korea after his wife was filmed slapping a salesman

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In a press release on Friday, the Belgian Ministry of International Affairs mentioned it had “change into clear” that Ambassador Peter Lescouhier couldn’t “play his function additional in a relaxed method”.

Lescouhier’s spouse, Xiang Xueqiu, had a confrontation with two store assistants in April. Seoul police initially mentioned she couldn’t be prosecuted due to diplomatic immunity, however in her personal declaration, Brussels mentioned this had been lifted.

“His full cooperation with the police has been assured,” the assertion learn, including that Xiang additionally “took the initiative to privately meet the 2 workers of the store to apologize in particular person for his unacceptable conduct within the store.”

“Now that Ms. Xiang Xueqiu personally apologized and cooperated with the police, International Minister Sophie Wilm├Ęs has determined that it’s in the very best curiosity of our bilateral relations to finish Ambassador Lescouhier’s mandate within the Republic of Korea. this summer time, “the assertion added.

Lescouhier has been ambassador to Seoul since 2018. Though each he and the embassy have apologized a number of occasions for the incident, the connection between Belgium and South Korea has continued.

The altercation came about on April 9 with CCTV footage shared extensively on-line exhibiting Xiang arguing with the 2 store assistants after one of many ladies requested her a few jacket she was sporting, mistakenly believing she could have stolen it.

The clerk, who wished to stay nameless, beforehand advised CNN that she couldn’t perceive Xiang and tried to take a look at the label contained in the jacket. When he confronted Xiang on the road outdoors the store, he noticed that the jacket was not from the store. She apologized and went again inside, however was chased by Xiang.

Within the video, Xiang could be seen gesturing in anger and pushing one of many workers earlier than slapping her within the face. A photograph shared with CNN confirmed that the lady was left with a big crimson bruise on her face.

“We will perceive her anger, however that does not justify her violent conduct,” the worker mentioned, including that the lady who was slapped suffered a ringing in her ear and “psychological misery.”

James Griffiths of CNN contributed to the experiences from Hong Kong.

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