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Yoon says untrue reports damage alliance, put people in danger

President Yoon Suk-yeol (Yonhap)
President Yoon Suk-yeol (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol has denied the controversy surrounding his use of vulgar language during his recent US trip, saying the incorrect reports damage South Korea's alliance with the US and put people in danger.

On his way to work on Monday morning, Yoon responded to the controversy, “Damaging the alliance with reports that are different from the facts is putting the people at risk."

He added, "The rest of the related stories should be clarified more clearly first, such as the truth about this part."

During his trip to New York last week, Yoon was caught on a hot mic insulting the US Congress. In the video released by local media, Yoon told his aides with vulgar language that it would be embarrassing for Biden if Congress did not approve something unspecified.

The clip led to speculation and criticism that Yoon was referring to Biden's pledge to contribute another $6 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

After Yoon’s remarks were reported, great controversy emerged at home and abroad, with multiple foreign media outlets covering the issue. The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea blasted Yoon, with added calls to replace diplomatic and national security officials.

The presidential office later clarified that the remarks were directed at Korea's National Assembly, not the US Congress.

The ruling People Power Party announced that it would take decisive action against Korea’s leading broadcast MBC, which first reported Yoon’s remarks.

Police are to launch an investigation into MBC, which has been accused of defaming Yoon.

On Monday, Lee Jong-bae, a member of the People Power Party, held a press conference in front of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, saying, "We filed a complaint with police against the MBC president, editor and reporter who made false broadcasts about President Yoon Suk-yeol's remarks."



By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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