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Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley's South Korean link

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The role of the State Department in Kelley’s appointment clarifies State Department denials of any formal link to her before her name emerged in the scandal surrounding retired Gen. David Petraeus.

Korean officials indicate that approval by the State Department is basically a formality. State Department officials say they’re still looking into the technicalities of approval of anyone proposed by a foreign government to serve as an honorary consul.

The South Korean media emblazoned pictures of her outside her Tampa home as word spread that she had contacted the FBI about e-mails traced to Paula Broadwell, whose affair with General Petraeus forced him to resign as CIA director.

The role of Kelley, a 37-year-old mother of three married to a Tampa surgeon, raises questions about how she managed to cloak herself in diplomatic respectability.

As an aggressive hostess with high-level military contacts, she reportedly made an indelible impression on Mr. Han before he returned to Seoul early this year to become president of the powerful Korea International Trade Association. He saw her as an influential go-between as Korea and the US expanded economic ties after approval of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.

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