Police on Tuesday officially charged Korean Air executive and heiress Cho Hyun-min over the so-called 'bottle rage' incident, filing a request for her to be banned from leaving the country. According to the police, witnesses said that Cho threw water towards several people during a business meeting between Korean Air and an advertising company.
And in another incident involving Cho Hyun-min, transport ministry officials have said that they plan to order Korean Air and its subsidiary, Jin Air, to probe how Cho was registered as an executive at Jin Air under her American name from 2010 to 2016.
South Korea's current Aviation Act forbids people who are not Korean nationals from becoming a registered executive at a national airline. The Ministry has the right to cancel the certificate of any airline that violates the act.
Last week, Cho made headlines for allegedly throwing a bottle of water at an advertising firm manager in a meeting in March. She denies throwing the bottle at the man, but admits that she did push him and has apologized for what she called her "foolish behavior".
Korean Air officials said Monday that Cho has been removed from her duties until police finish investigating the incident.
A petition launched last Friday on the website of the presidential office has so far been signed by more than 68-thousand Koreans demanding that the airline remove the word "Korean" from its name and stop using a Korean national symbol as its logo, saying the owners' behavior "degrades" the country and the company.
Foreign news outlets have reported the incident by explaining the concept of "gapjil", the unfortunate cultural practice of some executives in Korea who abuse subordinates and contractors.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News