(LEAD) Foreign ministry looking into ambassador to China’s alleged power abuse

The foreign ministry is looking into the alleged power abuse of South Korean ambassador to China, Chung Jae-ho, against a staff member, diplomatic sources said Thursday. The case was reported to the foreign ministry earlier this month by an official dispatched to the embassy from another ministry, they said. Chung is accused of verbally harassing and treating the embassy official in an arrogant and authoritarian manner, a practice called "gapjil" in Korean. An official at the foreign ministry confirmed the case, saying it is "checking the facts" after receiving the report. "The foreign ministry takes strict measures in the event of misconduct, including power abuse, by its employees, based on a fair investigation," he said. Foreign ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk also told a regular press briefing that the ministry will investigate the case thoroughly. Chung, a former professor of Seoul National University, was named ambassador to Beijing in June 2022, as the first envoy to China under the President Y oon Suk Yeol administration. Source: Yonhap News Agency