May 28 (UPI) — The wife of the Belgian ambassador to South Korea who assaulted two local women at a boutique in Seoul has agreed to give up some diplomatic immunity to comply with police investigations.
The Belgian Embassy stated Friday on its Facebook page that the decision was made by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the request of South Korean police.
“Her full cooperation with the police has been guaranteed,” the embassy said. “To this end, her diplomatic immunity was waived” by the Belgian government.
The embassy also said Belgian Ambassador Peter Lescouhier is to leave his post, citing circumstances.
Lescouhier has “served as Ambassador of Belgium to the Republic of Korea with dedication for the past three years,” the embassy said.
“It has however become clear that the current situation doesn’t allow him to further carry out his role in a serene way.”
The Belgian mission also said Xiang Xueqiu, 63, met directly with her victims to offer a personal apology.
Xiang “took the initiative to meet privately with the two store employees in order to apologize in person for her unacceptable behavior in the store.
“Due to her hospitalization, the meeting could not take place sooner.”
In April the embassy claimed Xiang was “unable to respond” to police queries because she had suffered a “stroke.” Xiang then met with police May 6.
The South Korean foreign ministry told Yonhap that the waiver of diplomatic immunity is only “partial.” The waiver does not mean Xiang faces criminal prosecution, the report said.
Xiang visited the store on April 9. The attack occurred after she was suspected of leaving the shop with unpaid items.
Video footage showed Xiang dragging a clerk by the arm before hitting her on the back of the head. A second woman tried to intervene, but was slapped in the face.