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cultural differences

South Korea’s presidential office has apologized after official Yoon Chang-jung was sacked during a US visit over “shameful” sexual harassment allegations.

Yoon Chang-jung, who was a spokesman for President Park Geun-hye, was alleged to have groped a Korean-American intern in a Washington hotel.

The incident overshadowed President Park Geun-hye’s first visit to the US last week.

Her former spokesman denies sexually harassing the intern, putting it down to “cultural differences”.


President Park Geune-hye’s chief-of-staff, Huh Tae-yeol, told reporters on Sunday that the case was “unconditionally wrong” and “unacceptable” and he apologized to the victim, her family and all South Koreans.

Yoon Chang-jung, who was a spokesman for President Park Geun-hye, was alleged to have groped a Korean-American intern in a Washington hotel

Yoon Chang-jung, who was a spokesman for President Park Geun-hye, was alleged to have groped a Korean-American intern in a Washington hotel

The unnamed intern, in her early 20s, was said to have been employed by South Korea’s embassy specifically for President Park Geune-hye’s four-day trip. The incident was said to have taken place in a hotel bar not far from the embassy.

A police report obtained by the Washington Post and Yonhap news agency said a 56-year-old man had “grabbed her buttocks without permission”.

Yoon Chang-jung, 56, told a televised news conference on Saturday that “if I have hurt her, I ask for her understanding and offer an apology”.

The former spokesman, an ex-newspaper columnist, also apologized for the harm he had caused “to the accomplishments of the successful US visit”.

During the trip, President Park Geune-hye’s first foreign visit since taking office in February, she held a summit with President Barack Obama.

Barack Obama said that they both agreed on the need to “maintain a strong deterrent” towards North Korea and were not going to reward “provocative behavior”.