Posted : 2012-11-27 08:12
Updated : 2012-11-27 08:12

Seoul to sack Jill Kelley for misusing 'honorary consul' title

WASHINGTON (Yonhap) --
Korea has decided to relieve Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite who helped expose CIA Director David Petraeus's career-ending affair, from an "honorary Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-hyun, on a visit here for regular consultations with U.S. officials, cited Kelley's efforts to use her title as South Korea's honorary consul in Floria for personal gains.

"It's not suitable to the status of honorary consul that (she) sought to be involved in commercial projects and peddle influence. It's also inappropriate as honorary consul," Kim told Korean reporters.

Kelley is known as a close friend of Petraeus and she reportedly has a wide web of ties with senior government and military officials in Florida.

Korea appointed her as honorary consul in August at the recommendation of Petraeus.

Korea has 15 honorary consuls in the U.S., all appointed by the foreign minister.

Their mission is to help promote South Korea-U.S. relations and protect the rights of Korean-Americans. An honorary consul gets paid about $2,500 a year, a source said.

Honorary diplomats have no specific privileges or protections under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

But Kelley flaunted her status, driving a Mercedes sedan with license plates that say "Honorary Consul 1JK."

She even demanded police protection, saying the appointment gave her diplomatic status.

According to multiple reports, she also openly boasted of her connections with South Korea to broker a large energy-related project.

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