A criticism leveled at US lawmakers by the president of South Korea has gone viral on social media — after an open mic caught him swearing.
Yoon Suk Yeol appears to have made the remark after meeting US President Joe Biden at a conference for the Global Fund in New York on Wednesday.
In a video posted by South Korean television broadcaster MBC on its official YouTube channel on Thursday, Yoon can be seen walking around the stage after talking to Biden before turning to his aides and speaking.
“It would be so embarrassing for Biden if these National Assembly f**ks didn’t pass this [projeto de lei]”, he seems to say.
The Global Fund is an international organization trying to defeat HIV, TB and malaria across the developing world, and Yoon’s remark appears to be a reference to Biden’s pledge to contribute $6 billion, which would require approval. of Congress.
The YouTube video — which has yet to be taken down — has been viewed more than four million times since it was uploaded and has attracted tens of thousands of comments.
Many social media users started to mock Yoon, while the expletive he used became a popular search term on the South Korean online portal Naver.
This is just the latest in what critics say are a string of diplomatic blunders by Yoon, who arrived in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly after attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London.
While in London, Yoon’s opponents accused him of disrespect because he missed the chance to see the queen’s coffin in state — which he attributed to heavy traffic.
Last month, he came under fire for not meeting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she visited South Korea as part of a tour of Asia.
After what appears to be his latest foreign policy faux pas, Yoon’s team has gone on the defensive.
In a briefing with reporters, a senior official in South Korea’s Presidential Office said the remark was “a private comment” and that it was “inappropriate to connect a private comment to a diplomatic outcome”.
The official also said it was “unfortunate” Yoon was being criticized for maintaining “a difficult schedule in the benefit of the national interest”.
“There’s no reason for him to talk about the US here,” Kim Eun-hye, Yoon’s senior press secretary, said in a separate briefing, reiterating that many people seem to have “misinterpreted” his words.
Back in Seoul, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo addressed the matter at a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, saying it was not “clear” what Yoon actually said.
“I don’t think I can draw a clear conclusion here about the circumstances in which he said those words, but it seems like no one clearly heard the content,” Han said.
His remarks did not go unnoticed by members of the opposition liberal party who commented on the issue at Thursday’s National Assembly.
“Diplomatic disasters are recurrent under Yoon Suk Yeol’s administration and this is due to the president’s repeated diplomatic incompetence,” they said.
Source: CNN Brasil