SEOUL, President Moon Jae-in has called for enhanced punishment against sexual crimes, saying such crimes may have been condoned in the past but should not be any more, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday.

"Crimes involving hidden cameras and dating violence are malicious crimes that destroy the lives of women. It is true that the investigations of our police authorities have been somewhat loose and that the punishments were not too severe even when such crimes were exposed," the president was quoted as saying.

The remarks came in a weekly meeting with top presidential aides at Cheong Wa Dae on Monday, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom. They come amid a scandal involving a male nude model, whose photos were illegally taken and posted on a local website by a female colleague, prompting a police investigation.

The president insisted changing times required a change in means and ends.

"While murder, armed robbery and smuggling constituted violent crimes in the past, household violence, dating abuse and hidden camera crimes now also make up serious crimes as times have changed," he said.

"It is true the severity of our punishment has been low as they used to be considered as acceptable crimes or because we had a weak concept about them," the president added, according to Kim.

Moon called for a "great transition" in how such crimes are viewed and handled.

"It appears there is a need for a change in our perspective on how such cases should be handled," he said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency