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S. Korean ambassador to Vietnam sacked for violating anti-graft law

Friday, June 07, 2019, 17:21 GMT+7
S. Korean ambassador to Vietnam sacked for violating anti-graft law
Former South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Do-hyun. Photo: Korea Times

South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Do-hyun has been dismissed for a breach of anti-graft legislation and other irregularities, South Korean media reported on Thursday.

Kim and his family received funding for a hotel stay and airline tickets when they attended an opening ceremony of a golf course in Vietnam last October, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

The act was in violation of the country’s strict “Improper Solicitation and Graft Act,” which makes it illegal for public officials and their spouses to accept valuable gifts or other forms of improper solicitation.

The legislation took effect in 2016 as part of the East Asian country's efforts to wipe out corruption among civil servants and others who work in the public sector, the Seoul-based news agency said.

Kim is also accused of treating embassy officials in an arrogant and authoritarian manner, a practice called "gapjil" in Korean, it reported.

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted an audit of its Vietnam embassy in March and called for a “heavy punishment” of Kim after identifying his violations, TV Chosun reported Thursday.

The decision to dismiss Kim was reached on May 24 by the Central Disciplinary Committee, the Korean pay television network said.

The panel “recently notified” Kim of the decision, according to an informed source of Yonhap.

An official working in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Hanoi confirmed Kim’s dismissal to Tuoi Tre News on Friday.

Kim will be barred from being reappointed for any public office for three years after his firing, according to TV Chosun.

Kim, 53, was appointed South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam in April 2018 after working as a Samsung Electronics Co. executive responsible for smartphone sales in Europe.

He previously served in the South Korean foreign ministry from 1993 to 2012.

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