South Korean President Park Guen-hye somewhat unexpectedly fired her press spokesman on Thursday, citing an “unsavory incident” that occurred during her summit in the U.S.
President Park was in the U.S. meeting with President Barack Obama for the first time as President of her country, and overall had a successful summit showing a united front with the U.S. against North Korea. Then, on Thursday, during Park’s stopover in Los Angeles before returning to South Korea, she announced that her press spokesman Yoon Chang-jung had been let go.
“He was involved in an unsavory incident during President Park’s state visit to the U.S. and displayed inappropriate behavior for a high-level official that was believed to hurt national dignity,” said Lee Nam-ki, South Korean presidential press secretary.
Lee did not include other specifics about the incident, and Yoon was unable to be reached for comment on Friday, but the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington was able to shed further light on a complaint filed against Yoon
“We are investigating the report of a misdemeanor sexual abuse. We cannot comment further, at this time,” said Gwendolyn Crump, the director of the Office of Communications at the department.
Yoon did spark up some controversy back in February when Park attempted to appoint him to the position amid protests of her parliament. Yoon is a former journalist, and some of his previous op-ed pieces raised eyebrows within the government, but was able to gain approval.
Park and her envoy return to Seoul Friday, wrapping up her six-day visit to the U.S. underlying the importance of a strong South Korea-U.S. alliance to combat the threats of North Korea and Kim Jong-un.