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NBC apologizes to Koreans for Opening Ceremony remarks about Japan

12 February 2018

Ramo, who was also an on-air contributor for NBC during the Beijing Olympics, is co-CEO of Kissinger Associates, an advisory firm of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

An on-air blunder during NBC's Friday, Feb. 9 broadcast of the 2018 Winter Olympics stirred global indignation and prompted the network to apologize for remarks made by one of its commentators, Joshua Cooper Ramo. "But every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation".

The remark immediately ignited outrage in South Korea, the Olympic host nation, where resentment of Japan's harsh early 20th-century annexation of the Korean Peninsula continues to simmer.

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NBC has issued an apology after its Olympic "Asian analyst" Joshua Cooper Ramo praised Japan's contribution to Korea's history.

According to Jung Min-ho of The Korea Times, the comment angered locals. "After decades of human rights violations, exploiting our resources, and attempts to destroy our heritage, Japan is nowhere close to being thanked, but absolutely despised", one person wrote on NBC News Facebook.

And the issue of sexual enslavement of Korean women - euphemistically called "comfort women" - is one that continues to color the Japanese-Korean relationship.

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Koreans around the world criticised his remarks on social media and a petition soon circulated online.

This is the second Olympics that Ramo has worked for NBC.

He acknowledged Japan's occupation of Korea before adding: "But Every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, and technological, and economic example, has been so important to their own transformation". "We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize", NBC anchor Carolyn Manno said.

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The apology, plus the fawning, gushy coverage of the attendance of Kim Jong-un's sister, has already made the network's coverage of the games a spectacular failure.

NBC apologizes to Koreans for Opening Ceremony remarks about Japan