Foreign ministry resumes mediation process for New Zealand sexual abuse case

SEOUL, The foreign ministry has resumed a mediation process to resolve a sexual abuse case involving a South Korean diplomat once stationed in New Zealand, officials said Tuesday.
The decision came as the ministry accepted the New Zealander victim’s request for mediation by a third party, a dispute settlement process that exists under New Zealand’s labor law.
“We have informed the victim’s side of our stance and are awaiting a response,” a ministry official said.
The male local employee at the South Korean Embassy in Wellington has accused the Korean diplomat of groping him more than once when he was stationed there in 2017. The case made headlines in both countries after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised the issue during phone talks with President Moon Jae-in in July.
The foreign ministry said earlier that it was considering resuming the mediation process after receiving a second request from the victim in early August. Their first mediation early this year was unsuccessful due to differences over compensation.
The ministry’s decision also came after South Korea’s human rights watchdog found in its own report on the case that the ministry had shortcomings in the handling of the case and recommended the diplomat compensate the victim.
The diplomat in question was assigned to a new post in the Philippines in 2018 and was later disciplined with a salary reduction. He recently returned home at the ministry’s order after the case resurfaced.
New Zealand has not requested the extradition of the diplomat.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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