South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol was caught on a hot mic Wednesday calling Congress “idiots” just after President Joe Biden gave a speech.
Biden and Yoon met at the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York City where Biden pledged $6 billion to health fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide. The move, however, requires congressional approval.
Yoon ripped into Biden afterward, appearing to not realize his mic was still on.
“It would be so humiliating for Biden if these idiots don’t pass it in Congress,” Yoon told aides shortly after the event, according to The Washington Post.
South Korean leader Yoon Suk Yeol was overheard insulting American lawmakers, after briefly meeting President Joe Biden to discuss issues including US electric-vehicle subsidies that South Korea wants to change https://t.co/kIOZkOS8jw
— Bloomberg Economics (@economics) September 22, 2022
Park Hong-keun, leader of the opposition Democratic Party, said Yoon’s language was “foul” and “tarnishing the US Congress caused a major diplomatic mishap,” according to South China Morning Post.
Another South Korean official told Yonhap that Yoon “wasn’t speaking publicly on the stage but in passing, and although I don’t know who recorded it and how, I actually think it should be verified.”
“I think it’s highly inappropriate to draw a link between private remarks and diplomatic accomplishments,” the official reportedly said. “It’s quite regrettable that a diplomatic disaster is being talked about over something like that when he is doing everything to complete a demanding schedule in t he national interest of the Republic of Korea.”
Yoon took office in May.