South Korea’s Moon urges action against growing #MeToo sex abuse claims


February 26, 2018

By Heekyong Yang

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for police to investigate a growing number of sexual abuse claims as the #MeToo campaign ensnares a growing number of high-profile figures, including entertainers and a priest.

The #MeToo movement has taken off belatedly in male-dominated South Korea where discussion of sexual misconduct has long been taboo. The country ranked 118 out of 144 for gender equality last year, according to the World Economic Forum.

The case that help spark the movement in South Korea moved forward on Monday, with former deputy minister for criminal affairs at the Justice Ministry Ahn Tae-geun saying he would “faithfully cooperate” with prosecutors investigating claims that he groped a subordinate in 2010.

“Gender violence is an issue of a social structure that allows the powerful to sexually oppress or easily wield violence against the weak,” Moon said at a meeting with aides. “I applaud those who had the courage to tell their stories.”

The campaign was triggered by accusations by dozens of women against U.S. film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including rape, triggering a wider scandal that has roiled Hollywood and beyond. Weinstein has denied non-consensual sex with anyone.

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