S. Korean President Slams US Congress on Hot Mic

Remarks, which went viral, just the latest in 'a string of unforced errors' since Yoon Suk-yeol took office
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2022 10:35 AM CDT
S. Korean President Has His 'Hot Mic Moment'
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is seen at a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, on Aug. 17.   (Chung Sung-Jun/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Newser) – Tell us how you really feel, Yoon Suk-yeol. The Hindustan Times reports that the South Korean president had a "hot mic moment" on Wednesday, after he'd just left a brief meeting with US President Joe Biden. The two leaders, in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly, met up for an informal chat during a Global Fund event to talk about subsidies for US electric vehicles, which could end up hurting South Korean automakers, per the Straits Times. But it was while walking away from that conversation that what Yoon had to say got more interesting.

"What an embarrassment for Biden, if these idiots refuse to grant it in Congress," Yoon was overheard snarking to South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin. CBS News has a coarser interpretation: "How could Biden not lose damn face if these f---ers do not pass it in Congress?" That led to that expletive trending on Twitter once the video of Yoon's remarks went viral in South Korea, earning more than 2 million views in just hours. CBS, which notes Yoon is a "political novice" who just took office in May, reports he was likely referring to Biden's push to boost US financial contributions to the Global Fund, whose mission is to ensure health care access to populations around the globe.

That's a move that would need Congress' green light. Opposition lawmakers in South Korea aren't thrilled with their president's slam of its ally, especially since Yoon has already had "a string of unforced errors" since he's taken office, per CBS. Among them: blowing off an in-person meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month when she visited South Korea, as well as declining to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II as she was lying in state, supposedly due to "heavy traffic." (Read more Yoon Suk-yeol stories.)

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