The Foreign Ministry plans to penalize an official at its embassy in London for asking inappropriate questions during an internship interview last week.
The secretary-level official dispatched from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reportedly asked some applicants how they would respond if they were to face the kind of sexual abuse that former Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Yoon Chang-jung was allegedly involved in.
The embassy official said he intended to test their judgment.
“We have instructed the ambassador to the U.K. to primarily take necessary, grave action. If necessary, we will also consider appropriate measures in coordination with the culture ministry,” the ministry said in a statement.
The embassy was recruiting interns to support the president’s visit on Nov. 5-7. The interviews were held on Oct. 21-22.
“It seemed embassy officials were looking for someone who would not take any action over sexual harassment. They were apparently unhappy when I said I would take action in that case, and I received a signal that I may not pass,” a female interviewee told The Hankyoreh daily.
After an initial investigation, the ministry said the report appears to be “substantially consistent with the facts.”
The interviewer said the question was his own idea and apologized “if anyone was offended.”
Former spokesman Yoon is alleged to have sexually harassed a young female Korean-American intern hired by the Korean Embassy in Washington during President Park Geun-hye’s trip in May.
Authorities in the U.S. are investigating the incident as a misdemeanor case.