Korean Air is once again under fire.
Last week, Senior Vice President Cho Hyun-min, daughter of the company's chairman, made headlines for allegedly throwing a bottle of water at an advertising firm manager in a meeting last month. Cho denies throwing the bottle at the man, but admits that she did push him.
Korean Air officials said Monday that Cho has been removed from her duties until police finish investigating.
And audio recordings newly released by local internet news media reveal Cho yelling at another person, presumed to be a subordinate.
Although she has apologized for what she called her "foolish behavior," local police launched a preliminary investigation… after the incident was first reported.
The police are said to be looking into whether the heiress abused her power or broke any laws.
Cho's powerful family has been embroiled in scandal before.
Cho Hyun-min is the younger sister of Cho Hyun-ah, infamous for the so-called "nut rage" incident four years ago in which she ordered a taxiing aircraft back to the gate in New York because she was unhappy with the way a flight attendant had served her macadamia nuts.
Cho Hyun-ah was found guilty of violating aviation law and sentenced to a year in jail but she was released after an appeal.
A petition launched last Friday on the website of the presidential office has so far been signed by more than 55-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.
In their reports, foreign news outlets have explained the concept of "gapjil", the unfortunate cultural practice of some executives in Korea who abuse subordinates and contractors.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News