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Seoul toughens disciplinary actions against diplomatsBy Korea Herald
Published : Nov. 3, 2011 - 16:35
The move came after two senior diplomats were summoned home in the past month for behaving disorderly under the influence of alcohol in two separate incidents: one at a public dinner and one involving allegations of drunk driving.
“Diplomats overseas must keep their dignity and prestige no matter what the reason may be,” a senior ministry official said on the condition of anonymity.
“The ministry will deliver a set of get-tough guidelines to overseas missions to tighten discipline on diplomats.”
Under the new guidelines, a head of an overseas mission will be required to actively ask the ministry to summon a misbehaving diplomat, according to the official.
Last month in Berlin, a senior diplomat was investigated by local police on allegations of drunk driving.
The diplomat rammed his vehicle into a cement wall near a restaurant in downtown Berlin and crashed into four parked cars, after having dinner at the restaurant, ministry officials said. No one was hurt.
The diplomat didn’t take a roadside breathalyzer test, but one officer claimed to detect an odor of alcohol,
Also, a consul general in the Russian city of Irkutsk was under fire for being drunk and behaving in an offensive manner at a public dinner on Oct. 20.
Last year, the ministry was embroiled in a nepotism scandal surrounding then-foreign minister Yu Myung-hwan, who resigned after he was accused of hiring his daughter for a mid-level post at the ministry.
Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan took office in October last year with a pledge to reform the ministry, but critics say his efforts to overhaul the ministry have not progressed far enough.
Articles by Korea Herald
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