May 13, 2013 09:22
Former presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung, who was sacked during President Park Geun-hye's U.S. visit last week, has admitted that he grabbed the buttocks of an embassy intern who was to assist him during the trip.
A Cheong Wa Dae official on Sunday said Yoon admitted during an investigation by the presidential office that he groped the woman during a drinking session.
Yoon also admitted that he was naked when the woman entered his hotel room the following morning.
At an earlier press conference, he claimed he merely "tapped the waist" of the woman and that she surprised him in his hotel room when he was in his underwear.
The Cheong Wa Dae official said Yoon left Washington and headed back to Seoul alone last Wednesday after the incident because the presidential office "had no choice but to isolate him." This suggests Cheong Wa Dae officials urged him to pack up and leave to minimize the fallout on Park's first overseas visit as president.
Yoon's air ticket was booked by somebody else that morning, but the ex-spokesman used his own credit card to pay for it at Dulles Airport in Washington D.C.
"To my knowledge, the ticket was reserved in Yoon's name," a government official said. It remains unclear who booked it and when.
Yoon told reporters that senior presidential secretary for public relations Lee Nam-ki had told him that a ticket had been reserved and that he should take his carry-on bag and leave. Lee said he has no recollection of saying that.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that it was a staffer at the Korean Cultural Center in Washington who called the police after the incident. The woman, who was hired in the U.S., has since resigned.
Korean Cultural Center staff were put up at the Fairfax Hotel in Washington along with Yoon Chang-jung and the Korean journalists who accompanied the president.
"The female staff of the cultural center shared rooms with the female interns," a government official said. "The staffer who shared the room with the alleged victim found her crying and called the police after hearing the intern's account."
Yoon initially claimed there was no way he would have called the intern to his room while Korean Cultural Center staffers were staying at the same hotel.
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