May 13, 2013 13:21
The woman who was allegedly molested by former presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung was an intern hired by the Korean Embassy in Washington D.C. for the duration of President Park Geun-hye's visit to the U.S.
Embassies abroad hire interns for big events that require more staff than they have. They perform various duties including protocol assistance and interpretation.
They are usually Korean students at nearby universities or second- or third-generation Korean Americans who are fluent in both Korean and English.
The victim is an American citizen.
A staff at the embassy said, "Basically, interns are unpaid volunteers, but we give them a certain amount of compensation when the event is over."
The embassy took on some 30 interns for the president's visit. Some of them were assigned to help them find their way around and interpret for them when needed. The victim was assigned to Yoon.
One woman who graduated from New York University last year commented, "Interns who are recruited by the embassy often have very high educational background. Taking part in a diplomatic event is a great opportunity to boost their CVs, so there is fierce competition for these positions."
Embassy officials abroad admit that there has been gossip about traveling officials and interns before, but this is the first time they made headlines.
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