The mystery woman at the centre of the ever-more-bizarre Petraeus and military scandal, Jill Kelley of Tampa, is an “honorary consul” of Korea.What’s an “honorary consul”?
Here’s how an unnamed official explained it to Foreign Policy:
“She is an ‘honorary consul’ of the Republic of Korea,” the official said. “She assumed this position last August thanks to her good connections and network.”
The position of honorary consul is symbolic and has no official responsibilities, the official said.
“She does not work as a real consul. They play a role to improve the relationship between the ROK and the U.S.,” the official said. “Jill Kelley helped to get support for [the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement] and she arranged meetings between the ROK Ambassador to Washington and local businessmen when the ROK Ambassador visited the Tampa area.”
So, what did Jill Kelley do to earn the good graces of Korea?
Add that to the list of many questions that we hope will soon be answered about Ms. Kelley.
“Honorary consuls” apparently get diplomat licence plates, which allow them to park in special places.
What they don’t get is “diplomatic immunity” of any sort, because they aren’t actually consuls.
That didn’t stop Ms. Kelley from saying she has diplomatic immunity when she called 911 to ask the emergency operator to send police to get TV crews off her lawn:
“You know, I don’t know if by any chance, because I’m an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property. I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well,” she told the 911 dispatcher, who agreed to pass the information along to police.
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