Jill Kelley serves as 'honorary consul' of Korea
ATLANTA/WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite who helped expose CIA Director David Petraeus's career-ending affair, serves as an honorary consul of South Korea, diplomats here confirmed Wednesday.
"The appointment of Kelley as honorary consul followed normal procedures," said Kim Hee-beom, South Korea's consul general in Atlanta. He emphasized that there was no irregularity in tapping her for the largely symbolic post.
Kim's jurisdiction covers Florida, since South Korea has no consulate there.
Kelley, 37, is at the center of a growing sex scandal involving Petraeus and Afghanistan commander Gen. John Allen.
Kelley is known as a close friend of Petraeus and was also found to have traded tens of thousands of pages of emails with Allen, the chief of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
Kelley asked for an FBI investigation into anonymous harassing emails, which eventually led to the discovery of Petraeus's affair with Paula Broadwell, his biographer.
Multiple sources said Kelley was named honorary consul in August at the recommendation of former South Korean ambassador to the U.S. Han Duck-soo.
Han, who played a major role in Seoul's efforts to get a free trade agreement with the U.S. approved on Capitol Hill, seems to have recognized her connections with senior U.S. officials, added the sources.
South 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."