Belgium retrieves its ambassador Peter Lescouhier in South Korea early after his wife beat up a saleswoman in the capital Seoul who suspected her of shoplifting. “The current situation no longer allows him to carry out his duties in a serene manner,” said Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès. At the request of the police, Wilmès has lifted the diplomatic immunity of Xiang Xueqiu.
The incident was recorded by security cameras and the footage was distributed in South Korea. It showed how two saleswomen ran after the woman when she walked out of the store after fitting clothes. One of them asked her about a piece of clothing she was wearing, which led to an argument. Then the ambassador’s wife gave an ear swipe.
The incident provoked a lot of anger in South Korea. In the meantime, Xiang Xueqiu had a private meeting with the two sales women and apologized “for her unacceptable behaviour”, the ministry reports. She is also involved in the police investigation. Lescouhier was ambassador to the Asian country for three years.