Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes recalled the country’s ambassador to South Korea, Peter Leshuye, after the second scandal in four months involving his wife. The media got a recording from a video surveillance camera: on it the wife of a diplomat slaps a shop assistant in the face, writes the European edition of Politico.
The ambassador’s term in Seoul was earlier cut after a previous similar incident: the Belgian’s wife got into a fight with a janitor who accidentally hit her with a brush. It is noted that the details of the incident have yet to be clarified. After the first incident, diplomatic immunity was lifted with a decision of the Belgian Foreign Ministry, but the injured party is not going to bring charges.
The minister recalled the ambassador’s duty to “maintain excellent relations” with the republic. The diplomatic mission issued an official apology, however, judging by the reaction on social media, many Koreans were unhappy: they were waiting for the ambassador to apologize personally. It is noted that Belgium and South Korea have a special relationship: this year marks 120 years of diplomatic ties, and in the early 1950s, Belgian troops were sent to participate in the Korean War.
In 2019, US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris had to publicly explain his decision to grow a mustache because Koreans saw it as an insult to their country. The fact is that all eight Japanese governor-generals who ruled the Korean Peninsula from 1905 to 1945 also wore mustaches.