Liberty Korea Party presidential candidate Hong Joon-pyo is going viral yet again ― this time due to his involvement in an attempted rape as a college student featured in a memoir published in 2005.
In the book, he proudly recalled that he helped his friend attempt to rape a woman when he was 20.
He and his friends obtained a drug used on pigs in rutting season, in order to incapacitate a female student and assault her.
Hong's friend secretly put the drug in her beer, which rendered her unconscious. "He told us he should possess the girl during the upcoming picnic," the book reads.
However, the attempt fell apart since she came to and resisted fiercely.
Hong, who was serving as a prosecutor in 2005, said it was "for fun" but he figured out it was a "gross fault" after becoming a prosecutor. In response to furious comments Friday, he denied the allegation. "I was not involved in the incident," he said.
"The issue didn't get attention in 2005. It seems like I am emerging as a competitive candidate to see it arousing controversies."
Without apologizing, he added, "I can't reveal those who engaged in the incident since they are leading the Korean economy."
Rival parties are urging him to step down as the LKP nominee. "Being exposed as an accomplice in an attempted rape by using a drug, we cannot overlook him as a presidential candidate," Kim Kyung-rok, spokesman for Ahn Cheol-soo's campaign team in the People's Party, said in a statement, Friday.
"The crime is so vulgar and astounding to be considered as a deviation during youth days," said Rep. Yoon Kwan-suk, chief spokesman of Moon Jae-in's campaign team in the Democratic Party of Korea.
This is not his first time to draw fire for his distorted view on gender issues. "How can I wash dishes? Men have their own jobs and women have their own jobs," he said during a recent media interview.