South Korea police request travel ban for Korean Air 'nut rage' sister

  • World
  • Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean police sought a travel ban on Tuesday for a daughter of the chairman of Korean Air Lines accused of throwing water during a business meeting, the second daughter to infuriate the public with petulant behaviour.

Police launched a formal investigation of Cho Hyun-min, a senior vice president of Korean Air, on suspicion of assault after getting testimony from people at the meeting at which Cho "sprayed a drink towards them", police said in a statement.

"We will continue to corroborate additional suspicion through investigation and have requested a travel ban for Senior Vice President Cho," police said in the statement.

Cho previously told a South Korean TV channel that she "pushed" a cup of water but did not throw it at anyone's face, as media had reported.

Police declined to give more details of the incident.

Cho is the younger sister of Heather Cho, who made headlines over a notorious "nut rage" incident in 2014, when she lost her temper over the way she was served nuts in first class and ordered the Korean Air Lines plane she was on to return to its gate at a New York airport.

The younger sister's tantrum has reignited public impatience with family-run conglomerates known as chaebol, which dominate South Korea's economy, over what some people see as unchecked bad behaviour by the rich and powerful, especially second- and third-generation children of the founders.

Korean Air suspended Cho from her duties on Monday following a rash of complaints from members of the public and from airline unions.

Cho apologised to the airline's employees in an email on Sunday, saying she was caught up in the passion for her work and had been unable to control her "thoughtless words and deeds, through which I caused injury and disappointment for a lot of people".

A lawyer representing Cho said she would cooperate with the investigation, the Yonhap news agency reported. The lawyer could not be reached for comment.

Heather Cho was found guilty of breaking aviation law and jailed for a year over her "nut rage" incident but was freed in May 2015 after an appeal.

(Reporting by Joori Roh and Joyce Lee; Editing by Robert Birsel)