A spokeswoman for the South Korean president’s office claimed that Yoon Suk-yeol was actually referring to South Korean lawmakers rather than to their US counterparts.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has denied insulting US lawmakers after he was caught on a hot mic making what appeared to be a rather disparaging remark about the US Congress.
The incident occurred on Wednesday after Yoon briefly met with US President Joe Biden at the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York, where the POTUS pledged some $6 billion towards a campaign aimed at tackling AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide.
“It would be so humiliating for Biden if these idiots don’t pass it in Congress,” the South Korean president was heard telling a group of aides, as quoted by The Washington Post.
AFP, however, translated what Yoon said as “How could Biden not lose damn face if these f*ckers do not pass it in Congress?”
South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol in New York: "How could Biden not lose damn face if these f***ers do not pass it in Congress?" ???? pic.twitter.com/veVXYVSWvi
— QUAN Quan 全权 كمال (@QuanQuan_1231) September 22, 2022
While a video of Yoon making the remark has gone viral, his office’s spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye insisted that the South Korean president had “no reason to talk about the US or utter the word ‘Biden'”.
During a press briefing in New York on Thursday, Kim claimed that Yoon had merely used another Korean word that sounds similar to “Biden,” and that he was referring to South Korean lawmakers rather than to their US counterparts.
Nevertheless, quite a few South Korean social media users seemed certain that Yoon did say “Biden,” with one netizen remarking that “it is utterly shameful and embarrassing for our kids that our presidential office has come up with such an excuse,” AFP notes.