Gang Dong-won apologizes over great-grandfather's controversial past

By Julie Kim Jackson
  • Published : May 3, 2017 - 19:29
  • Updated : May 3, 2017 - 19:29

South Korean actor Gang Dong-won apologized Wednesday over revelations his great-grandfather was a member of pro-Japanese forces during Tokyo's colonial occupation of Korea.

   The 36-year-old offered the apology after a screening of his crime-action film "Master" in Jeonju, 243 kilometers south of Seoul, where the Jeonju International Film Festival is under way, according to festival organizers.

   Speaking to the audience, he said he did not have the opportunity to personally apologize since the controversy over his great-grandfather broke earlier this year.

   "I will reflect on and teach myself about the embarrassing history and truth," Gang said.

   In February, a post on a film magazine's website claimed the actor was a descendant of pro-Japanese forces. After the post was shared on other websites, the actor's management agency requested it be hidden from view on online portals.

   Gang issued an apology through his agency at the time, saying he had learned of his great-grandfather's "embarrassing past" and would teach himself about history and do what he can.

   The colonial era is a sensitive issue in South Korea as many people still have bitter feelings toward Japan for its brutal rule from 1910-45. (Yonhap)