Gyeonggi Province Governor Nam Kyung-pil apologized Sunday after his son was accused of beating a subordinate in the military and sexually harassing another.
There are suspicions that the public apology was a damage-limitation exercise pre-empting the findings of an ongoing military investigation of his son.
Nam's son is a corporal with a unit in Cheorwon, 88 km south of Seoul, in Gangwon Province. He is under investigation for allegedly punching a subordinate in the stomach and face on a number of occasions since early April. He is also accused of touching another subordinate inappropriately.
Corporal Nam reportedly admitted the assault but denies sexual harassment, telling military investigators that it was a joke.
A military source said, "There are discrepancies in the accounts of the victims and the assailant. We will continue investigating."
The governor told reporters that he found out about the investigation last Wednesday, four days before Sunday's press conference.
"I bow my head in apology to the soldiers and their families for the wrongs that my son committed," he said. "My son will be duly punished according to the law, based on the investigation results. As the father, I will repent in the awareness that I, too, am being punished."