New York, IO – South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is mired in a controversy after he was overheard on a hot mic incident on Wednesday insulting US Congress members as “idiots” who could potentially embarrass President Biden if they did not approve funding for a global public health campaign, Kompas reported on Friday (23/9).
Biden met with Yoon during the Global Fund’s 7th Replenishment Conference in New York City, where he pledged $6 billion from the US to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide. The funding would require congressional approval.
“It would be so humiliating for Biden if these idiots don’t pass it in Congress,” Yoon was overheard telling a group of aides. The footage quickly went viral in South Korea. It was viewed by more than five million times in less than 24 hours.
South Korea’s presidential office on Thursday denied that Yoon’s remarks were targeted at the United States. His spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye said Yoon did not mention Biden by name and it was just a misunderstanding, as the insulting word sounds a lot like another similar-sounding word in Korean. Kim claimed that Yoon was referring to South Korea’s parliament instead of the U.S. Congress.