South Korean airline chairman apologises over sexual harassment accusations
Park Sam-koo apologises for making employees feel ‘uncomfortable’ during visits to the airline’s headquarters, but stops short of admitting touching anyone against their will
By Jung Min-ho and Kang Aa-young
Kumho Asiana Chairman Park Sam-koo has apologised over allegations that he sexually harassed the company’s flight attendants.
In a statement released February 12, Park, 72, said he was sorry for those who “felt uncomfortable” with what he did.
But he gave no details of what he did, nor did he admit that he physically touched them against their will.
Park had been accused of forcing some flight attendants to hug him or hold his hand when he visited Asiana’s headquarters.
“I am the only one to blame for this,” Park said. “It is my fault that some employees felt uncomfortable with what I did during my visit … I apologise to them and I will ensure that it won’t happen again.”
His apology came after dozens of employees brought sexual allegations against him on Blind, an application that allows insiders to talk about their companies anonymously.
The accusations were part of the #MeToo movement, which was sparked by female prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun, who brought the issue to the fore last month with her own case as a victim.
Since then, much effort has been made to raise awareness of sexual crimes that have too often been tolerated in a conservative society.