Belgium recollects ambassador to South Korea after his spouse is filmed slapping a store assistant
In a press release Friday, Belgium’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs mentioned it had “grow to be clear” that Ambassador Peter Lescouhier couldn’t “additional perform his function in a serene means.”
“Her full cooperation with the police has been assured,” the assertion mentioned, including that Xiang additionally “took the initiative to satisfy privately with the 2 retailer workers with a view to apologize in particular person for her unacceptable habits within the retailer.”
“Now that Mrs. Xiang Xueqiu has personally offered her excuses and cooperated with the police, Minister of Overseas Affairs Sophie Wilmès has determined that it’s in the most effective curiosity of our bilateral relations to finish Ambassador Lescouhier’s tenure within the Republic of Korea this summer season,” the assertion added.
Lescouhier has been ambassador to Seoul since 2018. Whereas each he and the embassy have apologized a number of occasions for the incident, it has continued to hold over Belgium’s relationship with South Korea.
The altercation befell on April 9 with CCTV footage broadly shared on-line exhibiting Xiang arguing with the 2 retailer assistants after one of many ladies requested her a few jacket she was sporting, mistakenly believing she could have stolen it.
The worker, who wished to stay nameless, advised CNN earlier she could not perceive Xiang and tried to take a look at the label contained in the jacket. When she confronted Xiang on the road exterior the shop, she noticed the jacket was not from the store. She apologized and got here again inside, however was pursued by Xiang.
Within the video, Xiang may be seen gesticulating angrily and shoving one of many clerks earlier than slapping her throughout the face. A photograph shared with CNN confirmed the girl was left with a big crimson welt on her face.
“We are able to perceive her anger however that doesn’t justify her violent habits,” the worker mentioned, including that the girl who was slapped suffered ringing in her ear and “psychological anguish.”
CNN’s James Griffiths contributed reporting from Hong Kong.