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Apologies For Public Troubles Over Legation’s Visa Trade

Apologies For Public Troubles Over Legation’s Visa Trade

Posted December. 19, 2003 23:12,   


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade apologized on December 19 for the corrupt practices of some diplomats, as well as for “visa trade” by the Consul General to Hong Kong. This was reported on the network bulletin board within the Ministry and has given rise to public criticism.

Vice Minister Kim Jae-sup said in a press interview at the Ministry, “The article that was put on the bulletin board was partly about practices that had happened in the past, but we are still ashamed of them. We started an investigation into the people mentioned in the article, and we will take proper measures with the investigation’s result.”

He added, “We will also take this chance to promote innovation within the Ministry, re-scrutinize management of our embassies abroad, and largely strengthen the auditing system for our legations. If there are any problems found with the embassy budgets, we will call responsible persons to account for them and reflect this in personnel management and with the dispensation of appropriate justice.”

Regarding the aptitude tests recently held for embassy leadership positions, he said, “A total of 31 participants have taken the test, including 24 people who were properly qualified for the test and seven who wished to take the test in advance. Six of the total have been disqualified, but as announced earlier, only two of these were among those who have applied for embassy leadership positions this term.”

In the ministry’s self-inspection over the last three years, it was announced that 19 cases meriting actions beyond that of “cautionary measures” have been dealt with.

Meanwhile, the Ministry also announced that they are starting an investigation regarding an anonymous letter that accused the head of a legation on the American continent of playing golf and drinking during office hours.

“An employee from the legation region who was unhappy with personnel measures sent the letter, but it is not even clear as to whether he sent it directly or not. We are working cautiously to verify the letter,” adding, “The leaders of the Ministry are aware of this incident.”

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com