Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
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NBC apologizes to Korea for Japan comments

NBC apologizes to Korea for Japan comments

On Sunday, an NBC spokesman said: "We apologised quickly both in writing and on television for a remark made by one of our presenters during Friday night's opening ceremony".

He instead got the network in trouble for a remark that left some Koreans outraged.

An on-air blunder during NBC's Friday, Feb. 9 broadcast of the 2018 Winter Olympics stirred worldwide indignation and prompted the network to apologize for remarks made by one of its commentators, Joshua Cooper Ramo. "Few Koreans would agree with what Ramo said of Japan".

Japan's 35-year colonial occupation of Korea was a controversial time that was marked by harsh rule and human rights abuse. Just last month, Mr. Abe's attendance at the Games was in question after tensions escalated over Japan's refusal to reissue an apology for the Japanese military's role in forcing Korean and other women to work in military brothels during World War II.

As The Korea Times put it, "many Koreans suffered enormously, often from rape, forced labor, torture and death", during the Japanese occupation. "The issue of the comfort women, the victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery, is one of the many atrocities that occurred during that period". In fact, thousands signed a petition demanding that NBC apologize for Ramo's statement.

"And no, no South Korean would attribute the rapid growth and transformation of its economy, technology, and political/cultural development to the Japanese imperialism", the petition said.

Slate wrote that Ramo's commentary amounted to bland trivia about Asia "seemingly plucked from hastily written social studies reports" - such as his observation that white and blue flags stood for North and South Korean unity.

Former journalist Joshua Cooper Ramo, working as an analyst for NBC, said on-air during the Pyeongchang Games opening ceremony that all Koreans recognised that Japan had served as an important example in South Korea's own economic transformation.

The controversy started when analyst Joshua Cooper Ramo, who was hired to bring historical context to NBC's coverage, noted how significant Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit was.

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