Hot mic captures South Korean leader swearing at US lawmakers

Yoon Suk Yeol appears to have made the remark after meeting US President Joe Biden at a speech in support of the Global Fund in New York on Wednesday.

In a video posted by South Korea’s MBC television station on its official YouTube channel on Thursday, Yoon can be seen walking off stage after chatting with Biden before turning to address his aides.

“It would be so embarrassing for Biden if those whores in the National Assembly don’t support this [bill]”, he said then.

The Global Fund is an international organization trying to defeat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria across the developing world, and Yoon’s remarks appeared to refer to Biden’s pledge to contribute $6 trillion, which would require congressional approval.

The YouTube clip — which has not yet been removed — has been viewed more than four million times since it was uploaded and has drawn tens of thousands of comments.

Many social media users have started mocking Yoon, and the announcement he used has become a popular search term on the South Korean social media portal Naver.

It’s the latest in what critics say is Yoon, who arrived in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly after attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London.

While in London, Yoon’s opponents accused him of being disrespectful because he missed the chance to see the queen’s coffin lying in state, which he blamed on heavy traffic.

Last month, she came under fire for not meeting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she visited South Korea as part of an Asian tour.

After what appears to be his latest foreign policy gaffe, Yoon’s team has gone on the defensive.

In a background meeting with reporters, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential official said the remark was “a private comment” and that it was “inappropriate to link a private comment with a diplomatic outcome.”

The official also said it was “unfortunate” that Yoon was being criticized while continuing with “a tough schedule in the national interest”.

Back in Seoul, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo addressed the issue during a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, saying it was “unclear” what Yoon actually said.

“I don’t think I can draw a clear conclusion here as to the circumstances under which he said those words…but it seems that no one has heard the content clearly,” Han said.

His remarks were not lost on members of the opposition liberal party who commented on the matter in the National Assembly on Thursday.

“Diplomatic disasters are recurring under the Yoon Suk Yeol administration and that is because of the president’s repeated diplomatic incompetence,” they said.