Joshua Cooper Ramo upset many South Koreans after saying that Japan has set an example for their country’s cultural and economic transformation.
NEW YORK—NBC has apologized to South Koreans for an on-air remark by an analyst that cited Japan as an example that has been important to the country’s own transformation.
The remark was made by analyst Joshua Cooper Ramo during NBC’s coverage of Friday’s opening ceremony. He was noting the significance of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit.
“Every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technical and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation,” Ramo said.
An online petition quickly circulated demanding an apology, and NBC did on its NBCSN cable network Saturday and formally to the Pyeongchang Olympic organizing committee.
Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945. Petitioners said anyone familiar with Japanese treatment of Koreans during that time would be deeply hurt by Ramo’s remark. They also criticized the accuracy of giving Japan credit for South Korea’s resurgence.
“We believe that staying silent is not an appropriate response to such ignorant, insensitive, and harmful information that defies the very spirit of peace, harmony, and human dignity of the Olympics,” it said.
"His incorrect and insensitive comment about Korea's history has enraged many of its people," the Korea Times observed.