Chinese wife of Belgian envoy in Seoul summoned by police over assaults on shop staff

Published (HKT): 2021.04.22 17:29

The Chinese wife of the Belgian ambassador in Seoul is wanted by Korean authorities for questioning, after she was caught on camera assaulting a storekeeper.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the deputy ambassador of the Belgian Consulate to urge the embassy to cooperate on the matter, though Xiang Xueqiu has been hospitalized, according to the embassy.

CCTV footage obtained by Reuters showed Xiang hitting a female storekeeper in the head and slapping her in the face.

According to Yonhap News Agency and the Chosun Ilbo, the incident occurred on April 9. A storekeeper mistook the clothes Xiang was wearing as items of the store when she left and requested her to display the clothing tag for confirmation. Though the storekeeper apologized for the mistake, Xiang returned angrily and assaulted the staff during the confrontation.

63-year-old Xiang is the wife of Belgian diplomat Peter Lescouhier. The two met when he was stationed in China. As she enjoys diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the case has caused an uproar in South Korea, sparking protests outside the Belgian Consulate.

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