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Criticism of US lawmakers by South Korea’s president has gone viral on social media – using a slur after a hot mic lifted him.
Eun Suk Yeol appears to have made the remarks after meeting US President Joe Biden at a conference for the Global Fund in New York on Wednesday.
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In a video published by South Korean television broadcaster MBC on its official YouTube channel on Thursday, Yoon can be seen walking on stage after turning to his aides and chatting with Biden before speaking.
“It would be very embarrassing for Biden if those f***ers in the National Assembly don’t accept this [bill]”Then he seems to say.
The Global Fund is an international organization trying to defeat HIV, TB and malaria in the developing world, and Yoon’s remarks appear to be in reference to Biden’s pledge to contribute $6 billion, which would require Congressional approval. .
The YouTube clip – which has yet to be removed – has garnered more than four million views and tens of thousands of comments since it was uploaded.
Many social media users have ridiculed Yun, while the abusive term she used has become a popular search term on South Korean online portal Naver.
Critics say it is just the latest, a series of diplomatic missteps by Yoon, who arrived in New York this week for the UN General Assembly after attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London.
While in London, Yoon’s detractors accused him of disrespect because he missed the opportunity to see the Queen’s coffin lying in the kingdom – which he blamed for the heavy traffic.
Last month, he came under criticism for failing to meet US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while she was visiting South Korea as part of a tour of Asia.
After his latest foreign policy lapse, Yoon’s team has gone on the defensive.
In a background briefing with reporters, a spokesman for the South Korean presidential official said the remarks were “a personal comment” and that it was “inappropriate to link the private comment to the diplomatic outcome.”
The official also said that “it is regrettable” that Yun was being criticized for noting “a difficult program for the benefit of the national interest”.
Back in Seoul, South Korean Prime Minister Han Dak-soo addressed the issue at a National Assembly session on Thursday, saying it was “vague” what Yoon actually said.
Han said, “I don’t think I can draw a clear conclusion here about the circumstances in which he said these words… but nobody seems to have clearly heard the material.”
His remarks were not lost on members of the opposition Liberal Party who commented on the issue in Thursday’s National Assembly.
“The Eun Suk Yeol administration is experiencing diplomatic disasters and it is because of the president’s repeated diplomatic incompetence,” he said.
Hot mic catches South Korean leader Yoon Suk Yeol swearing about US lawmakers
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