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Belgian ambassador to South Korea apologises for wife's attack video

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By Euronews with AFP
The diplomat's wife had been suspected of shoplifting before the incident.
The diplomat's wife had been suspected of shoplifting before the incident.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File
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Belgium's ambassador to South Korea has apologised after his wife was filmed attacking two shop workers who had accused her of shoplifting.

A widely-circulated video showed the diplomat's wife trying on two items in the shop before leaving.

An employee immediately ran after her to ask about an item she was wearing, which is believed to have led to the altercation.

CCTV footage broadcast by South Korea's SBS television shows the woman pulling the arm of an employee and slapping him.

The footage was broadcast in the hope that such an "incident would never happen again", SBS said. The incident has sparked huge anger across South Korea, a very law-abiding country.

Belgian Ambassador Peter Lescouhier "sincerely regrets the incident involving his wife," the embassy said in a bilingual Facebook post and apologised on her behalf.

"No matter the circumstances, the way she reacted is unacceptable," the embassy added.

"The ambassador was informed by the police that an investigation is ongoing."

As the wife of an ambassador, she has diplomatic immunity, but the embassy said it would cooperate with the police.

Lescouhier's wife has been unable to respond to police requests as she has been hospitalised since last week following a stroke and remains under medical supervision.

"We hope her health will improve quickly, so she will soon be able to assist with the police investigation, so we can all put this regrettable incident behind us," the embassy said.