World

Hong denies 'date rape confession'

SEOUL: South Korean presidential candidate Hong Joon Pyo yesterday denied his own autobiographical confession of complicity in an attempted date rape, as voter outrage mounted.

The candidate of ousted president Park Geun Hye's conservative party has been compared to US President Donald Trump for his rhetoric and sexist remarks.

While a first-year student at the prestigious Korea University, Mr Hong wrote in a 2005 memoir, a roommate at his boarding house "asked us to obtain a stimulant" and then mixed it into a beer for a girl he had a crush on.

The man returned to the dormitory after midnight, his face scratched and shirt torn, according to the book.

"He said the drug did not work," Mr Hong wrote.

"He asserted that if the drug been authentic, it should have worked. We said: 'Yes, it is real. It is used to get pigs to copulate in the countryside, and we have been told it is also effective with humans.'"

PRANK

Mr Hong later became a criminal prosecutor and acknowledged in the book "how seriously wrong such mischief was", calling the incident a prank.

But his confession has become the centre of furious controversy ahead of the election on May 9.

Mr Hong tried to distance himself from the account yesterday, saying he had "overheard" the story from other residents of his boarding house and did not take part in the plot himself.

He told reporters he "made a clarification" when the book was published - at a time when he had a much lower profile.

"This is because I have emerged as a strong candidate, isn't it?" he said.- AFP

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