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South Korean woman fined after slapping airport staff in Thailand

By Elizabeth Shim
South Korean woman fined after slapping airport staff in Thailand
A South Korean tourist caused a stir at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok late Saturday. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A South Korean woman who slapped an airport employee across the face during a routine inspection in Thailand was fined $30.

The incident is being reported at a time when the Philippines, another popular destination for South Korean tourists, is banning 23 Korean passport holders, citing rudeness toward airport staff.

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The South Korean tourist who caused a stir at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok late Saturday was caught on surveillance camera striking the Thai employee. The footage was aired on local network Khaosod TV.

The incident took place at the departure hall of the airport, where the woman, who remains unidentified, may have been preparing to leave the country.

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According to South Korean news service Money Today, the woman hit the airport employee as she was being inspected with a hand-held security scanner.

As the scanner moved down the woman's body and the employee moved to grab the woman's right arm, the defendant struck her face.

The South Korean woman had previously expressed discomfort with staff requests for a metal detector inspection. She repeatedly refused the staff's advances, even crossing her arms in an X-position to indicate her rejection of procedure.

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Security staff and a South Korean man, a companion, rushed to the scene to restrain the woman. Local police was notified and the defendant was charged 1,000 Thai baht for the assault, or about $30.

Southeast Asia is a popular travel destination for millions of South Koreans, but some citizens are being denied entry following incidents at airports.

The Korea Times reported Monday 23 South Korean nationals have been banned from entering the Philippines for "rude" behavior.

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Manila is banning a total of 133 foreigners, with 37 Chinese passport holders and 25 U.S. citizens topping the list, according to the report.

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