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Fury mounts in South Korea over Belgian Embassy response to 'face slap'

South Korean police are seeking the cooperation of the Belgian Embassy in Seoul after the Belgian ambassador's wife allegedly attacked two South Koreans at a store in Seoul. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
South Korean police are seeking the cooperation of the Belgian Embassy in Seoul after the Belgian ambassador's wife allegedly attacked two South Koreans at a store in Seoul. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

April 23 (UPI) -- Controversy continues to grow in South Korea after the wife of the Belgian ambassador to Seoul was caught on store cameras allegedly assaulting store clerks.

The Belgian Embassy recently issued an apology, but the statement has been derided as "half-hearted" in the country.

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The latest uproar comes in response to a laughing emoji reaction posted by the embassy on its Facebook page, in response to a comment that was deemed offensive to South Koreans, the Dong-A Ilbo and Chosun Biz reported Friday.

The comment and the embassy's reaction have since been deleted from the page, but South Korean netizens took screenshots of the statement, reports said.

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The screen shot shows a user, Théodémis Umeadus, suggesting the incident was justifiable because of alleged discrimination in the country.

"So many korean crybabies. I am enjoying seeing y'all racist mofos cry when a chinese slaps you," the commenter said. Directly below, the embassy posted its reaction of "laughter."

Xiang Xueqiu, 63, the wife of Belgian Ambassador Peter Lescouhier, is believed to be originally from the People's Republic of China, according to South Korean press reports.

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Xiang, who was seen in video footage allegedly dragging a clerk by the arm before hitting her on the back of the head, and then allegedly attacking a second person with a face slap, has not issued a formal apology.

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The April 9 incident occurred after Xiang returned to the store after being checked for leaving with unpaid items.

Lescouhier apologized for his wife's behavior on Facebook. The embassy also claimed Xiang is "unable to respond" to police queries because she had suffered a "stroke" last week.

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The Belgian Embassy's apology is being derided as disingenuous in the country.

The statement was written without honorifics attached, a sign that the statement is "insincere," South Korean netizens said, according to Chosun Biz.

Xiang has diplomatic immunity and cannot face criminal charges, according to reports.

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