A lawmaker representing South Korea’s main opposition Liberty Korea Party sparked uproar on social media Monday after he insulted reporters at the National Assembly.
As he was leaving a party committee meeting, party Secretary-General Han Sun-kyo referred to reporters sitting on the ground as “wiping the floor.” They were sitting on the floor to be closer to party Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn, who was holding an unofficial press briefing.
Liberty Korea Party's Secretary-General Han Sun-kyo (Yonhap)
Han’s remark came as a shock as Hwang had earlier warned party members against making “blunt” comments in public.
Last month, the four-time lawmaker apologized for verbally abusing certain members of the party’s staff. Several other party members have also caused public outrage this year over remarks that listeners found offensive.
Han’s “wiping the floor” phrase made the list of trending keywords on Twitter Korea on Monday, with some users criticizing him and calling on the party to take action.
In response to the mounting criticism, Han defended his comment, saying he had said it out of concern for the junior reporters, who often have to work while sitting on the cold floor.
“I have always felt bad for the younger reporters who sit on bare ground,” Han said.
By Choi Ji-won (email@example.com)