Belgium urgently summoned its ambassador to South Korea, after his wife was involved in a new violent incident, CNN reported.
The Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said in a previous statement on May 28 that it had instructed its ambassador to South Korea, Peter Lescouhier, to leave his post this summer, and lifted his diplomatic immunity from his wife, who is accused of assaulting two female employees in a clothing store in early April.
Korean police have investigated Chiang Xueqiu, the wife of the Belgian ambassador, over allegations that she slapped a clothing store employee in the face and hit another employee in the back of the head.
The alleged assaults occurred when the two employees mistakenly suspected that the wife had stolen clothes from the store, because she was wearing similar clothes sold inside the store.
“Diplomatic immunity has been lifted by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the request of the police,” the ministry said in a statement published by the Belgian embassy in Seoul on its Facebook account.
The statement added that “it has become clear that the current situation does not allow the ambassador to continue performing his mission in a calm manner.”
“Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès has decided that it is in the interest of our bilateral relations to end the mandate of Ambassador Liskoher to the Republic of Korea this summer,” CNN reported the statement.
Peter Lescouhier, who took office in June 2018, was supposed to return to Belgium this month before a new accident occurred with his wife in the Yongsan district of the Korean capital when she got into a “physical altercation” with a cleaner in Hannam district at 9:25 am from Monday.
Police said the dispute began when an unidentified cleaner was cleaning the garden before his broom accidentally touched the wife of the Belgian ambassador, who was in the garden.
The municipal employee told the police that the woman screamed at him and hit him in the face twice before the latter pushed her to the ground.
The cleaning worker called the police and the two admitted that they had beaten each other, unwilling to exchange or make accusations, after which the ambassador’s wife was taken to a nearby clinic for a medical examination after she reported back pain.
A spokesman for the Belgian Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement to CNN that Chiang was involved in a “fight” in a public park, noting that “the circumstances of this fight are still unclear.”
Following this new incident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it wanted its ambassador to return quickly, explaining in its statement: “Following the incident that occurred with two female employees in a store, it was agreed that the ambassador would return with his wife during the month of July. Bearing in mind the ambassador’s responsibility towards the host country and our desire to maintain the excellent relations we enjoy with the Republic of South Korea, we would like his return without further delay.”
On the other hand, the South Korean Foreign Ministry announced that it would “investigate the incident in cooperation with the relevant legal bodies,” adding: “We will respond firmly if we discover that illegal matters have occurred related to the diplomatic corps in South Korea.”