South Korea wants to change South Korea wants to change, after briefly meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss issues, including US electric-vehicle subsidies, after South Korean leader Eun Suk Yeol was heard insulting US lawmakers.
Video broadcast on South Korean television showed Yoon telling Foreign Minister Park Jin in New York, “What a shame for Biden if these idiots refuse to give it to Congress.” The comments were caught on a microphone when Yoon and Park were leaving a brief conversation with Biden at the Global Fund event.
The two leaders were scheduled to hold formal discussions on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week and instead spoke at the event for a charity that raises funds to fight infectious diseases.
A senior official in South Korea’s presidential office told reporters in New York that Yoon’s remarks were unofficial and unverified. The official said it was unfair to view such personal comments as a reflection of the administration’s diplomatic achievements.
Biden and Yoon collaborated on the security threat posed by North Korea as part of a wide range of priority issues, including supply chain resilience, critical technologies, economic and energy security, global health and climate change, the White House said in a statement. discussed on ,
The South Korean president was heard insulting US leaders after a brief meeting with Biden, where he discussed US electric vehicle subsidies, which Seoul sees as a “betrayal” to its own brands. https://t.co/oarW0VjRkm pic.twitter.com/aYLp3uGXny
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) 22 September 2022
Yoon has come under pressure at home to fix the provisions in inflation The Reduction Act, signed by Biden last month, includes a tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchases of electric vehicles made in North America. This could hurt major South Korean brands such as Hyundai and Kia, which do not yet have operational EV plants in the US.
Yoon’s off-the-cuff comments were met with ridicule from opposition South Korean lawmakers, who said they tarnished the country’s image.
The president is already facing criticism for shying away from a personal meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she visited South Korea last month while she was on vacation. The lawmakers said they missed the opportunity to advocate on behalf of their country on the law.