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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Korean Official Resigns




SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korean Foreign Minister Park Chung-soo resigned under pressure Tuesday for muffing a diplomatic dispute over espionage activities with Russia, a presidential statement said.


"Foreign Minister Park Chung-soo ... expressed his apology for causing concerns to the people over Korean-Russia relations," the statement said.


Resigning with an apology is generally viewed as diplomatic cover for being sacked. "That is the way it should be perceived," said a Foreign Ministry official who did not want to be identified.


Park was replaced by Ambassador-at-Large Hong Soon-yung, a former envoy to Russia.


"Hong Soon-yung is known in Russia as a supporter of a deeper relationship between Russia and Korea," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin said.