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Blue House Spokesman Sacked, Suspected of Sexual Assault in U.S.

By any measure, President Park Geun-hye’s state visit to the White House has been a success. She handled herself gracefully with President Barack Obama, and her speech at Congress was met with many rounds of rousing applause. So this one is a bit of a damper.

Blue House Spokesman Yoon Chang-joong was conspicuously missing in the events scheduled in Los Angeles on May 9. The media curiosity grew when the news broke that Yoon left for Korea on May 8, without joining President Park for the trip from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles.

Today, the other shoe dropped. Blue House official announced at Los Angeles that Yoon was relieved of his duty as of May 9, because he was “personally involved in an unfortunate incident, acting inappropriately as a high-ranking official and thereby damaging the dignity of the nation” during President Park’s visit to the U.S. What could that “unfortunate incident” be? Although there is nothing officially confirmed yet, the word in the Washington D.C. Korean American community is that Yoon sexually assaulted a 21-year-old intern for the Korean embassy who was his handler.

Obviously, any high-ranking official involved in this type of affair would damage the administration. But the fact that Yoon was involved makes things extra tough for the Blue House. Among all of Park’s appointments, Yoon’s appointment was the most hated one by the progressives. Before joining the Blue House staff, Yoon was a right-wing journalist notorious for his non-restraint. He called the conservative politicians who supported Moon Jae-in in the last elections “whores,” and called Ahn Cheol-soo a “dirty peddler.” He also referred to the voters who voted for Moon Jae-in as “traitor column” [반국가세력]. When he was appointed, even the conservatives scratched their heads about Park’s choice. Despite a massive pressure to call off the appointment, Park Geun-hye forged ahead and appointed Yoon as her spokesman. Merely 70 days later, he is gone today.

-UPDATE- Yonhap is now reporting that the intern called the police. Upon hearing that the police was coming, Yoon took off immediately to the airport without even packing up his hotel room. Upon returning to Korea, the Blue House’s office of the chief of staff interviewed Yoon, who admitted to sexual assault.

-UPDATE 2 (by Robert Koehler): If you’ve been wondering what Yoon’s “inappropriate act” was, wonder no more—quoting the victim, Yonhap is reporting that Yoon grabbed the intern’s ass at a DC area hotel.

So much for the One Grope Rule.

Anyway, DC police are investigating. The victim, too, is a US citizen.

  • Maximilian

    mumble, grumble…our women, our country, damn foreigners, violating…grumble, mumble.

  • bumfromkorea

    In all fairness, that girl was probably a communist and deserved whatever happened to her.

  • Bendrix

    He looks strange. What’s wrong with the shape of his head?

  • Maximilian

    Upon hearing that the police was coming, Yoon took off immediately to the airport without even packing up his hotel room. Upon returning to Korea, the Blue House’s office of the chief of staff interviewed Yoon, who admitted to sexual assault.

    If he’s admitted sexual assault and the woman has filed a complaint, then when’s the extradition?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    It’s the Status of Diplomats Agreement (SODA), and it needs to be changed. The alleged perpetrator allegedly committed crimes under both American and Korean law, and he immediately ran thinking that once on Korean soil that Korea would shield him.

    I want to know how long until he is turned over to American authorities for questioning. Why is it taking so long? Because the Korean government, at the highest levels, is shielding him,

    “Blue House official announced at Los Angeles that Yoon was relieved of his duty as of May 9, because he was ‘personally involved in an unfortunate incident, acting inappropriately as a high-ranking official and thereby damaging the dignity of the nation’ ”

    The Korean administration knew, and gave him the tip-off. Even the former administration official admitted his guilt.

    He needs to appear and tried in an American court (and good luck getting that to happen) rather than subject to the Korean justice of being quietly reassigned. I personally don’t think that quiet reassignment with even the resultant loss of face is enough in this instance.

    Please understand my anger when I publicly perform a rap song calling for killing everyone in the administration and their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, and children and to kill’em all, and it gets interpreted by The Korean people as “fuck you”. Fortunately the kind Korean people will accept me, and the next president will have me in the Blue House for Chuseok.

    *******************
    Note to editor: Demon excised. Let it die.

  • DLBarch

    Brava to that young intern for staying focused and calling the police. She might have severed any ties she might have hoped to develop with the Embassy and other Korean officialdom, but she did the right thing.

    Brava, brava, brava!

    DLB

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    If he’s admitted sexual assault and the woman has filed a complaint, then when’s the extradition?

    The woman calling the police = not the same as filing a complaint. It is up to the D.A.’s office to indict Yoon. Even after that, the extradition treaty between U.S. and Korea does not mandate an extradition. Contracting party may extradite on a discretionary basis.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    My gut tells me that this intern must have been Korean American rather than Korean Korean.

  • thedrew

    If this is true, it’s going to be a very interesting case.

  • R. Elgin

    Why did PGH hire this man to begin with!? His background as a journalist (in Korea) is enough to warn people that he bears closer scrutiny.
    Her choices for her administration have been a disaster, thus I wonder just how she engages one curious monster after another?

  • lastnamekim

    #3, yes, his head is shaped like Stewie from Family Guy.
    Also, just curious, but does anybody know what that sexual assault entailed between the intern and the Korean Stewie?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Why did PGH hire this man to begin with!?

    There are no better people around her. That’s the scary part. This guy was her first appointment as well.

    does anybody know what that sexual assault entailed between the intern and the Korean Stewie?

    Preliminary media reports say being drunk, shouting obscenities and threats, and grabbing buttocks. Waiting for a more firm account before I update the main post.

  • Sterling Copper

    Surprisingly there is little reporting on this matter in the US. I thought there would be a snippet on CNN or NPR by now. I guess the kidnapping case in Cleveland has way more media attention right now, but still…

  • jkitchstk

    I don’t think Stewie on Family Guy ever oozed soju and garlic from his forehead did he, or are those blotches?
    http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=003&aid=0004998322

    “Preliminary media reports say being drunk…, and grabbing buttocks.”

    Hey cut the guy a break, he mistook his surroundings for a Noraebang/Karaoke room.

  • rockon

    Couple this story with the recent Pohang traveler to the US and news about the Korean appetite for SE Asian youth and some people might suggest a pattern of sorts.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    That is one UGLY man.

  • Maximilian

    @7 Thanks for the info. Will be interesting to see what happens. My guess is huge amounts of money are being spent to try to avoid this becoming a bigger deal.

  • jk641

    http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LPOD&mid=sec&oid=001&aid=0006252008&isYeonhapFlash=Y

    Apparently the two of them were drinking late into the night and he improperly “grabbed” her behind.
    What an effing idiot.

    I have an idea. Let’s make him a poster boy for a national anti-drinking campaign.

  • jk641

    And no, I’m not blaming alcohol for his misbehavior.
    He’s probably a perv.
    But I’m incredulous that he would have done this had he been sober.
    He should be punished for his sex crime and be made a posterboy for a campaign against “boozing and whoring”.

  • cm

    So the moral of the story here is… what? Only Conservatives are sexual deviants and rapists? How could Park Geun Hye have hired a future sexual predator? It was gross negligence on her part for not predicting what this man would do into the future. Terrible president.

  • Cloud

    WTF- how many people has she appointed/nominated with serious problems in their moral character? She is either a terrible judge of people or has really bad advisors.

  • Cloud

    @rockon – yeah the same type of people who think “it’s a pattern” when an English teacher is wanted for child sexual molestation or drug use…

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    This is just too good. Seven years ago, as a journalist, Yoon Chang-joong wrote:

    “The metaphor that the Blue House spokesman is the president’s ‘mouth’ is not comprehensive. Because he is not just the mouth who merely transmits the president’s words. Rather, he is the face, the avatar that demonstrates the class of the president and the administration in a compressed manner.”

    http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=110&oid=021&aid=0000147561

    Well, now we know all about the class of the PGH administration.

  • jkitchstk

    # 21 Cloud,
    “She is either a terrible judge of people or has really bad advisors.”

    You can’t blame PGH, she doesn’t have much to choose from ~

    “At least a half dozen people nominated as ministers and vice ministers withdrew after questions arose, mostly about their ethical standards in the wake of allegations of real estate speculation, tax evasion and other issues.”

  • will.i.aint

    Doesn’t have much to choose from??

    She could have picked ministers and vice ministers from the progressive side of the house – and she would have been virtually guaranteed to get squeaky clean folks without even a hint of allegations of real estate speculation, tax evasion, etc.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Or a bunch of traitors?

  • R. Elgin

    Surely #25 is satire. Many of the so-called “progressives” would have had similar problems if not flawed intellect or character.

    Diogenes and his lantern . . .

  • bballi bballi Paradise

    #25
    So Tagore was waiting for Diogenes to light the lamp?

  • http://www.expathell.com thankswww

    I wonder if the Blue House is going to kick down some money to prevent the situation from escalating. Has PGH banned ajeossis from international travel yet? It would seem that a great many of Korea’s “image problems” could be avoided by simply banning Korean ajeossis from leaving the country.

    I’ve also noticed that the US media seems to have something of a “special agreement” about what gets reported about Korea and what doesn’t. Anyone remember how big of a deal it was when Dominique Strauss Kahn allegedly sexually assaulted a maid in a NY hotel? They pulled him off the plane. It was front page news. Judge tossed his claim of “diplomatic immunity” out the window.

    I hope that this story gathers some steam in America and that the offender is publicly shamed for life, especially if they refuse to prosecute him.

  • jkitchstk

    # 29 thankswww,
    ” It would seem that a great many of Korea’s “image problems” could be avoided by simply banning Korean ajeossis from leaving the country.”

    That would be a next to impossible order since it is against S. Korean law to forbid the overseas travel of even pedophiles wearing ankle cuffs after they get out of jail.

    If Yoon, Chang-joong gets his wrist slapped he’ll soon be back at it anywhere he so desires as long as he’s welcomed.

  • jk641

    #23,

    Well, now we know all about the class of the PGH administration.

    I wouldn’t quite take it that far.

  • PC Bahng or Bust

    Oh, great. Now she needs an AIDS test.

  • http://blog.oranckay.net oranckay

    Excellent coverage by “THE” Korean.

    I just came from an official function for Science, Information and Communication & Future Planning Minister Choi Moon-ki in Santa Clara, Calif. (a ‘정책간담회’ w/Korean-American entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and such in Silicon Valley). The minister talked about gov’t policy re promoting innovation and 창조경제 and all that, but discussion at all the guest tables was all about this mess.

    One government functionary in the minister’s entourage told me that he has on occasion been warned about this kind of thing; that young Korean-Americans are hired as interns at the Korean embassy/consulates when there’s a big event like a Korean presidential visit, but that you shouldn’t assume they’re Korean because they look it, and you shouldn’t assume they’ll put up with the same treatment as regular Korean women. His words, not mine.

  • bumfromkorea

    My dad’s reaction to this: “See, this is exactly why my generation of Koreans and above needs to die off quickly if Korea’s going to survive.”

  • Cloud

    @29 Strauss-Kahn sexual assault involved him being naked in his hotel room and ejaculating on the victim.

    Yoon deservedly lost his job for grabbing the ass of an intern in a public place. Banning all “Korean ajeossis” from traveling would be as ludicrous as banning all western expats from living in Korea because of a few assholes who have committed crimes.

    The hypocrisy of comments like @Rockon or @thankswww was mentioned in my comment #22 but needs to be said again and again and again.

  • yuna

    #35 Hypocricy it’s a good word. I came across the worst 아저씨 behaviour I’ve ever encountered, “on-line” recently..

  • yuna

    #36 Of course, Hipocrisy – it’s even better spelt right.

  • Tapp

    How is it possible that someone would be allowed to be that high up in an administration and have no one there to control him? I guarantee that Joe Biden has a handler close by every time he gets another scotch. I understand that the whole Confucianism idea gets trampled on a bit, but that concept was already thrown out when they put a female in charge, wasn’t it? Ask the secret service agents in South America how well international sexual harassment charges go over for your career…

  • rockon

    @35, yeah I agree. It’s like banning ignorant posters because they can’t read, can’t spell, can’t understand vocabulary in context or simply wish to imprint their own agenda by distorting cum misrepresenting other people’s views.

    You can say whatever you want – again and again – but I doubt few will pay much mind to clap trap.

  • http://japmarpaung.wordpress.com japmarpaung

    “Yoon was a right-wing journalist notorious for his non-restraint”
    Well he certainly lived up to his reputation!

    No state visit would be complete without a high ranking official’s sexual antics. Well done President Park! You had this planned all along when you hired him didn’t you?

  • ecw

    This won’t affect Korea’s image much because Korea doesn’t have much of an image, good or bad, to begin with, and because some random government functionary getting drunk and grabbing an intern’s ass isn’t big enough of a deal these days for anyone outside Korea to care.

    France is a more renowned and important country, and Strauss-Kahn is a more prominent figure who I believe was running for president at the time. And the Strauss-Kahn allegations involved more serious acts than groping.

  • Cloud

    Couple this story with the recent Pohang traveler to the US and news about the Korean appetite for SE Asian youth and some people might suggest a pattern of sorts.

    can’t understand vocabulary in context or simply wish to imprint their own agenda by distorting cum misrepresenting other people’s views.

    LOL:)

  • sloppycho

    Can’t believe this type of immoral behavior happened during another overseas trip by the President… again!

    It was only a year ago that some korean ajeosshi secret service agents were caught in the sack with some prostitutes while on duty.

    Horny ajeosshi’s will never learn.

  • dokdoforever

    Latest I heard, after the girl had been grabbed in the bar she went back to her hotel room. Yoon wouldn’t give up, called her room repeatedly asking her to come over to his room. He grew frustrated and finally demanded that she deliver documents to his room. She arrived to find him fully naked at the door, at which point she screamed and called the cops.

    Yoon then fled the scene under orders from Park to come back to Korea. That’s what I heard.

  • austin

    So the guy quickly goes to the airport and gets the first flight back to Korea.
    Not so easy, often planes are fully booked. If not fully booked, a ‘get me on the first plane’ ticket is damm expensive. Who paid for the ticket? Out of his own pocket, or was he able to get the govt to pick up the tab. Finally why are the socialists referred to as “progressives”. I wouldn’t be so arrogant to refer to myself as a big shlonged sex god. Stop with the “progressive” garbage and call them what they really are. Interfering, know itt all busy bodies.

  • RolyPoly

    Clinton did this (“naked in the room and calling a female employee to enter”) and still became the president of the United States.

    I am wondering the racial makeup of the victim. (1) Is she a Korean descent? Or, (2)a white female working as an intern? Everybody assumes (1) but it may be (2).

    If so, USFK should arrest this guy and hang him by his n**.

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