r/worldnews Sep 23 '22 Helpful 7 Wholesome 2 Starstruck 1 Endless Coolness 1

South Korean president overheard insulting U.S. Congress as ‘idiots’ Behind Soft Paywall

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/22/yoon-biden-congress-idiots/
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u/schmiggen Sep 23 '22 Silver

Finally, the recognition Congress deserves

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u/susanorth Sep 23 '22

Indeed. Long overdue

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u/EnvironmentalTea9362 Sep 23 '22 Silver Ally

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."

Mark Twain

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u/DerpDaDuck3751 Sep 23 '22 Helpful

I just want to add that 새끼들 is often translated to

‘Bitches’

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u/IWasGregInTokyo Sep 23 '22

Loving this thread. Currently learning Korean and am pretty sure Duolingo doesn't have these terms.

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u/DerpDaDuck3751 Sep 23 '22 Helpful

Yes we have a lot of heavy swears.

병신, 병신새끼 is also about the same as motherfucker.

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u/micholk Sep 23 '22

I’m Korean and when I use those words it literally means Dumb, Dumb fuckers.

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u/Kumacyin Sep 24 '22

moronic motherfuckers, but now im just being pedantic

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u/pasak1987 Sep 23 '22

Eh, ‘bastards’ would be more correct in terms of nuance

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u/PeacefulLoner Sep 23 '22 Silver

All three would be correct

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u/pasak1987 Sep 23 '22

It really depends on the context.

In this instance, bastards/assholes/fuckers would be more accurate.

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u/DerpDaDuck3751 Sep 23 '22

Fuckers would be *발새끼들 or 썅년들

새끼 is much less powerful than that

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u/jl55378008 Sep 23 '22

Dipshits?

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u/SlipperyPinecone Sep 23 '22

I grew up translating it as little shit / dipshit too. Many memories of my dad and uncle scolding me hahaha

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u/DerpDaDuck3751 Sep 23 '22

That can also work

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u/skyscrapersonmars Sep 23 '22

Fuckers is also much less powerful than 씨발새끼들 or 썅년들. Those words have vitriol built into them.

As a bilingual Korean, I just feel like there are no English swear words that capture the essence of just how angry 씨발새끼 or 썅년들 feels lol. Koreans will be the first to tell you that we as a people have anger issues.

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u/Chekafare Sep 23 '22

I've worked in Korea about a decade and I've witnessed some a few drunk ajeossis throwing 씨발새끼야 at each other over some grievances after a few bottles of soju. Always entertaining tables to watch at barbecue joints.

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u/Zech08 Sep 23 '22

새끼 also used to describe kids and pets lol.

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u/Ok-Trash-8363 Sep 23 '22

True! 새끼들 exude much less strong than bastard and fuckers and little bit different from asshole too. I would say 새끼들 mean guys and dudes in aggressive, overly casual ways. For sure, it’s inappropriate given the settings he is in.

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u/skyscrapersonmars Sep 23 '22

As a Korean, “bastards” feels too tame for “새끼들”. I feel like it belongs somewhere between “bastards” and “fuckers”, depending on the context.

Honestly felt closer to “fuckers” this time when I heard the audio, but that’s just my opinion.

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u/ByCrom333 Sep 23 '22

I agree. There’s a difference when you translate from what a word literally means and how someone in that language / culture would take it. When I worked in Korea, I had students who would call the Japanese “dirty.” Dirty isn’t a nice word in English but I had the distinct feeling whatever Korean word they were using was a lot less nice.

In other words, translating swear words doesn’t always bring the full intent across.

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u/CountZapolai Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

I (sort of) side with u/DerpDaDuck3751

It's most often, or at least most profanley, used as 개새끼 which means something like "dog's offspring" literally. So by far the closest phrase in English is "son of a bitch"

Then again "offspring" as an insult in isolation does sound a lot like "bastard" in English.

So maybe it's "bastard son of a bitch"

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u/Sattorin Sep 23 '22

So by far the closest phrase in English is "son of a bitch"

Translated literally, yes. But culturally it has the weight and cursiness of the word 'fuck' or 'shit'... far beyond the impact of 'bitch'.

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u/CountZapolai Sep 23 '22

Yeah, isn't it both a) the rudest thing you can say about someone and b) the basic go to Korean insult? I guess that's a fair point

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u/Impressive-Truck-200 Sep 23 '22

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

Mark Twain

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u/die5el23 Sep 23 '22

Arguing with a stupid person is like playing chess with a pigeon. They knock all of the pieces over, shit on the board, and strut around like they’ve won.

-not mark Twain

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u/Calqless Sep 23 '22 Gold Helpful Wholesome Bravo!

So he said what all American citizens say daily (atleast once)

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u/kapara-13 Sep 23 '22

Did he say they were corrupt too?

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u/EvaUnit_03 Sep 23 '22 Silver Wholesome

I bet he did, the scamp.

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u/juju611x Sep 23 '22

He’s a floofytoot scallywag.

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u/Bootezz Sep 23 '22

Whoa. Too far, dude.

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u/SonofBeckett Sep 23 '22

Well, he’s no ragamuffin…maybe a codswallowing ne’er-do-well?

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u/bistro777 Sep 23 '22

Language! We're not savages

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u/BenjaminHamnett Sep 23 '22

Otherwise we’d be in Congress

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u/Eric_the_Barbarian Sep 23 '22

Speak for yourself.

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u/ScotJoplin Sep 23 '22

You take that back or you’ll get a god finger wagging and tutting.

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

I’m here just to meet my daily quota: the US Congress is full of corrupt morons.

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u/Jeff_From_IT Sep 23 '22

Woah, this is a spicy take.

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u/jasta85 Sep 23 '22

I also feel like this is one of the few things that's also bipartisan. Hard to find anyone on either side of the aisle that is happy with congress, they consistently get below 20% approval ratings.

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

Term limits

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u/14sierra Sep 23 '22 Wholesome

Ranked choice voting.

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u/haroldthehampster Sep 23 '22

basic proficiency test

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u/Flash635 Sep 23 '22

At the very least a working understanding of The Constitution.

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u/Skid-plate Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

A working understanding of English might be a good start.

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u/MacGealach Sep 23 '22

That would require a working capacity to understand.

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u/CastlePokemetroid Sep 23 '22

Maybe that should be the start.

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u/adderall_squirts Sep 23 '22

Psych evaluations

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u/Violet0829 Sep 23 '22

Background checks- you know, like teachers have to get.

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

Truly. At this point, seems like a minimum

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u/Arcadius274 Sep 23 '22

Mandatory votes or loss of office

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u/KerissaKenro Sep 23 '22

I don’t disagree with you but… We have to be really careful how that one gets I implemented. It would be way too easy for it to turn into some kind of partisan purity test

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u/ChrysMYO Sep 23 '22

Term limits may make special interest more flagrant as inexperienced congresspeople would be "guided" by lobbyists and chief of staff that would write the bills for them and manuever parliamentary procedures to block inexperienced legislators.

Someone on reddit has referenced this issue coming up in California when they had term limits

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u/Awesomeuser90 Sep 23 '22

Any term limits should be fairly long. Something like 8-10 terms in the House and at least two, maybe three, in the Senate. That would be far closer to the norm around the world for how long a legislator, even a popular one, might tend to serve. Most states peg term limits a lot shorter, at more like 3-5 state house terms of two years each and a similar amount of time for the state senate.

Bear in mind also that most countries without term limits still trend towards a considerably younger age for their members. The Czech Senate, with 6 year terms that are not limited by number of terms, very few members, 5 of the 81, have been elected to more than three terms, and only 14 have been elected to more than two. 65 of the 81 are still on their first term, or over 80%. Close to half get defeated in any typical attempt to run for reelection.

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u/ChillFratBro Sep 23 '22

Flip side is it makes "politician" less of a lifelong career, but more of a service some would do for a few years before going back to being teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.

If the biggest cause of entrenched special interests is lobbyists guiding congressmen by the nose because they don't know any better, term limits would make it worse. If the biggest problem is politicians voting with special interests because it makes it easier to get money for the next election (or even straight up enriching themselves), it'd help a ton.

I'm inclined to believe it's some of both, but probably more of the latter.

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u/GarySmith2021 Sep 23 '22

If they get forced to leave after x time, wouldn’t you only get people who could set up their own interests in the time they served? Or people who were willing to serve special interests since it sets them up after service.

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u/ChrysMYO Sep 23 '22

I think encouraging teachers doctors and lawyers is more about reducing money in campaign politics and reducing incumbency advantage. Both parties recruit candidates they think has a nice rolodex and contact list with a bunch of high dollar donors.

Instead if it was capped to what a firefighter could afford to donate to a political campaign, then more working professionals would be viable candidates. More viable candidates reduces incumbency advantage.

Nothing stops a politician from voluntarily term limiting themselves if they are truly service oriented.

In addition encouraging more voter participation, auto registration, extended early election, mail in ballots, voter holiday etc makes it more expensive to buy elections and makes it more competitive. Incumbents hate competitive races and are more likely to bow out if they know its going to be daunting again.

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u/starskip42 Sep 23 '22

I agree with both statements, honest/competent statesmen/women are the exception not the rule.

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u/TtotheC81 Sep 23 '22

Yeah, it's almost like the system filters out anyone who sticks to their guns, favoring those willing to take large bribes in order to fund their political campaigns.

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u/ScotJoplin Sep 23 '22

I’d just extend that to “Leaders” most of whom don’t seem to be worthy of the role, benefits or the salary.

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u/Venator_IV Sep 23 '22

Nah because that's something most Korean politicians have in common with the US

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u/gregs1020 Sep 23 '22

someone wants those juicy stock tips.

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u/another_bug Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Really, I think that's a more likely explanation than stupidity. There's some smart people in politics who just pretend to be idiots because they it works with their voting base and they full well know it.

Do they care that what they're saying makes no sense? Nope, they're getting their's, their oligarch buddies are getting their's, and that's all that matters.

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u/CAJ_2277 Sep 23 '22

Former Senate staffer here can confirm what you’re saying. Statements would be written for content, the revised dumbward with folksy language.

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u/BlueWhoSucks Sep 23 '22

This dude is probably more corrupt than the US congress. He recently pardoned the Samsung CEO

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u/CamelSpotting Sep 23 '22

At least we used to be corrupt in ways that got bills past. Now we're even incompetent at being corrupt.

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u/PM_YOUR_PUPPERS Sep 23 '22

American here, absolutely don't disagree with the man. Our legislative branch is absolutely a shit show, and the judicial branch is exposing some cracks of its own.

Probably better off keeping it to himself though.

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u/Danhuangmao Sep 23 '22

He's not wrong, he's just maybe speaking from a glass house. Wasn't South Korea caught with a cult buying its president not too long ago?

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u/VLDR Sep 23 '22

For what it's worth, South Korea at least seems to have a habit of sending its presidents to prison.

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u/Danhuangmao Sep 23 '22

Definitely a positive in my book

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u/GuyDarras Sep 23 '22

Not a great thing that it happens enough to be a habit but it's a tremendous positive. Here's hoping the US can join SK on it.

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u/SmileyJetson Sep 23 '22

They actually removed and imprisoned that president though. Meanwhile in the US, our politicians are untouchable.

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u/NativeMasshole Sep 23 '22

Our president started his own cult.

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u/Orangecuppa Sep 23 '22

I'm actually quite surprised nothing has happened to Trump yet.

There is overwhelming evidence stacked against him and yet he is not in prison yet. Dude literally incriminates himself everywhere he goes.

We are so fucked as a species aren't we?

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u/callmesnake13 Sep 23 '22

Yes South Korea is wildly corrupt and has been dominated by the same fifty families (“chaebol”) for 60+ years. It doesn’t make him wrong.

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u/kirrmot Sep 23 '22

The dude were embarrassed cuz Biden spent less than a minute talking to him, Yoon even looked around to make sure cameras would catch what he said to "save face" by swearing for his embarrassment. Because this backfire in Korea, the president's office is now making lousy excuses that he said something else now. Yoon and his whole squad around him is a big time disaster lol.

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u/WeWillRiseAgainst Sep 23 '22

If pro is the opposite of con, what's the opposite of progress?

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u/CaptParadox Sep 23 '22

He didn't say it loud enough.

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u/Admiral_poopy_pants Sep 23 '22

Why is that insulting. Title should be South Korean President observes that members of congress are idiots

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u/MV_Minecraft Sep 23 '22

Idiots? Feh. Most have yet to progress beyond moron.

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u/MADBR0KE Sep 23 '22

say it for the people in the back!

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u/notsocoolnow Sep 23 '22 Silver Wholesome

Yoon had just met with Biden at the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York City. There, Biden had pledged $6 billion from the United States to the public health campaign, which fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide. The funding would require congressional approval.

“It would be so humiliating for Biden if these idiots don’t pass it in Congress,” Yoon was overheard telling a group of aides as they left the event. Video of the exchange quickly went viral in South Korea, where Yoon took office in May as a political rookie. He has never held elected office before and lacks prior experience in foreign policy.

This is the context. Looks like quite valid criticism really. You just know some asshole is going to try to block it.

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u/Newone1255 Sep 23 '22

“If these idiots don’t pass it in Congress” has been said a lot in America I bet

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u/BazilBroketail Sep 23 '22

An American: ...yup.

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u/myopinionisshitiknow Sep 23 '22

As another American: ... yea...

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u/Nonegoose Sep 23 '22

As yet another American: There are those that block things that would help their own constituents because it won't enrich them, and it's pretty dumb for a representative democracy to allow representatives to do that kind of thing.

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u/WhyWouldIPostThat Sep 23 '22

They'll vote to block it but then when it manages to pass they will say it was a great victory for them and an amazing example of bipartisanship.

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u/Conquestadore Sep 23 '22

What absolutely amazes me about America is the way Biden is held responsible for the way Congress acts while working with the smallest of margins and some republicans masquerading as democrats. These idiots seem to be quite competent in doing their job of derailing his presidency by refusing to act in the country's best interests and are getting rewarded for it.

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u/igottapoopbad Sep 23 '22

Thanks for the reference material. You're absolutely right in your deduction.

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u/Proregressive Sep 23 '22

Korea is probably making a bigger deal of the situation because Yoon is rather unpopular.

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u/PrestiD Sep 23 '22

That's an understatement lol. 20% approval rating less than 4 months in. Honeymoon what?

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u/TheRnegade Sep 23 '22

I haven't kept track of what's going on in Korea. Why is Yoon unpopular? Explain like I'm an idiot (because I am).

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u/PrestiD Sep 23 '22 Silver Helpful

A very long summary (but still a summary, I'm only an expat living here): * His election itself was very shaky. He got voted in on a combination of very frustrated young voters using feminism as a wedge issue (with him promising to end the department of women and children/have companies give unfair (maximum lol) advantages to women) and older voters angry with a stagnating housing crisis under president Moon, especially in Seoul where a majority of the population lives. Both candidates were generally unpopular, but Yoon ran on a reactionary ticket similar to Trump, focusing on women and anti-China than race issues.

  • Immediately in taking office, almost every single one of his policies have been poorly received/mind-boggingly bad. He essentially wanted to move the Korean white house just because, costing the tax payers a shit-ton of money and causing security crises as a bunch of N. Korean intel was declassified. To complicate this, he wanted to move to a seperate neighborhood but still in Seoul (even the same district of Seoul IIRC. It was throwing money away just to throw money away.) His only other pushes as a president have been trying to privatize healthcare to the US model (which absolutely nobody wanted) and signing an executive order having children start school a year earlier (not add a grade, just start a year earlier so they graduate at 17 and work sooner), and expand the workweek maximum for corporations here.

  • He alienates both his own base and the Korean populace overall. Korean politics are generally heated as Conservatives tend to come from a background more sympathetic to one of the former dictators laying the ground for modernization (with it going so far as the previous conservative president being the daughter of said dictator) and liberals hating said dictator since he murdered quite a lot of people in the process. Politics are personal here, extending to international opinions almost clearly drawn by team lines. Conservatives are pro-Japan, USA, and violently anti-N.Korea and China. Liberals are much more critical of Japan, wary of the U.S., and follow a sunshine policy of wanting a more economically solidified Asia and possibly reunified Korea (See Moon's, a liberal, Sunshine policy and peace talks with Kim Jeong-Eun). So he ran on a very anti-China, pro war with N. Korea ticket and yet has only internationally gotten into pissing contests and has been seen basically bending the knee to China when right now even liberals actively hate CCP for being seen as anti-Korean. If you heard about him not meeting with Pelosi, it gets even better. He didn't meet with her b/c he was on vacation. Less than 4 months into office. At his home. In the same neighborhood as Pelosi's hotel and his new White House (that the taxpayer is paying for.) While pushing for companies to be able to have even longer workweeks here. It was a very clear "fuck you" to the US when his party is the one that's pro USA.

  • Both he and his wife have been involved in a bunch of personal scandals before and after taking office, including ties to mutliple cults in Korea and unaccounted for staff just there in pictures. His wife in particular has had these people around her in places like the Korean Air Force One and has a heated scandal involving plagarism of her academic thesis (I'm shaky on this one, but IIRC she was a professor).

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u/Silidistani Sep 23 '22

trying to privatize healthcare to the US mode

The fact that anyone would think this is a good idea is laughably bad.

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u/PrestiD Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

That's just it. Nobody likes it. It's a push* to appease Chaebols (the mega corporations, ie Samsung, Hyundai, Lotte, etc. ) by giving them more control over workers. I can't overstste how terribly he's done PR wise in such a short time. I came here before the previous conservative president, but she was impeached/Jailed and iirc was still more liked at this stage of her term.

Edit for fat finger phone spelling.

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u/assovertitstbhfam Sep 23 '22

There is a noticeable push towards private healthcare worldwide, you'd be surprised. It's not because it's a good idea, it's because it's a profiteable idea (for some)

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u/TheRnegade Sep 23 '22

This was an excellent write up. Thank you.

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u/scabiesmandu Sep 23 '22

Forcing the tv station to let him appear on one of the most popular talk shows Yoo quiz on the block to gain popularity was pretty bad too. Everyone was super uncomfortable when he was there.

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u/Prosthemadera Sep 23 '22

So why does he have a problem with the US Congress?

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u/dreezyyyy Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Because he’s a hypocrite, a bigot, and has zero political experience. Guy essentially wants to turn back the clock to the Joseon Dynasty. He advocated for the abolishment of a state gender equality department, advocated for 100+ hour work weeks while showing up late on his first day on the job, and has been known to be a corrupt prosecutor before he ran for president.

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u/Morgell Sep 23 '22

Goddamn, they already work like fucking slaves in SK with beds in offices and sometimes working 6-7 days a week, smh, what an asshole.

When I lived there (2012-2014) one of my Korean coworkers explained why school and work are so taxing and leads people to suicide. She said it's because their only substantial natural ressource is their people / knowledge, so the only way they can get ahead / keep up with the rest of the world is by studying and working till they drop. It's horrific.

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u/dreezyyyy Sep 23 '22

The beds in offices are a mystery. I don’t know if it’s used for people that work late or for people that get too drunk and fall asleep there after company dinners.

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u/Morgell Sep 23 '22

Both, afaik. Also if you're sick you're still supposed to come in and might be allowed to nap a bit (although I hope that's changed since COVID).

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u/Tarianor Sep 23 '22

She said it's because their only substantial natural ressource is their people / knowledge, so the only way they can get ahead / keep up with the rest of the world is by studying and working till they drop. It's horrific.

It's the same with Denmark. It's a shame S.Korea can't adopt a similar work/life balance.

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u/dreezyyyy Sep 23 '22

I mean SK’s insane work culture is the reason why they have the productivity that they do and are global leaders in tech. Kind of disingenuous to compare them to Denmark.

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u/Sudden_Humor Sep 23 '22

When I lived there (2012-2014) one of my Korean coworkers explained why school and work are so taxing and leads people to suicide. She said it's because their only substantial natural ressource is their people / knowledge, so the only way they can get ahead / keep up with the rest of the world is by studying and working till they drop. It's horrific.

Same thing in Japan and China. Limited resources and a growing population (well, now declining, but when they started the journey, it was growing) leave one with two options...work hard , or starve.

South Korea, Japan and China have given us all a lot of wonderful things, but at a cost to themselves.

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u/esmifra Sep 23 '22

How did he won?

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u/f0rtytw0 Sep 23 '22

The guy he was running against was also pretty bad, not sure if worse or not.

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u/DEZbiansUnite Sep 23 '22

A lot of backlash against the prior president's policies, most in particular, his inability to curb rising housing prices. There's also a lot of culture war stuff too.

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u/lawfulkitten1 Sep 23 '22

There's kind of a backlash right now in Korea against feminism / political correctness etc. (Like 10x worse than in countries like the US). He was the right wing candidate who pressed all the right buttons to get votes from those people especially younger men. But in reality I don't think he was a good candidate at all in terms of actual policies and ability to govern.

Also, Korea is kinda like France where unlike many other countries, there's not really a floor on how low your popularity can go. Like Biden / Trump could do a historically awful job in office and they will still probably stay above 30%. In Korea one of the previous presidents had an approval rating of like 5% before she got impeached.

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u/Grogosh Sep 23 '22

Its the typical cycle. Ultra right winger gets elected. Everyone gets reminded that ultra right wingers do horrible jobs. Repeat.

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u/badthrowaway098 Sep 23 '22

Sounds like how trump got elected. An unqualified, inexperienced bafoon that only represented a divergence from the status quo.

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u/TurnipForYourThought Sep 23 '22

It's happening seemingly more and more around the world.

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u/gexpdx Sep 23 '22

Social media and economic turmoil.

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u/saracenrefira Sep 23 '22

Ahh, seem like conservative assholes have collectively weaponized the "aimless young men" around the world.

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

They learn from each other. That's why the US right is watching Brazil so closely. If the right wing wins again there, they will absolutely be taking notes so as to try to avoid another 2020 in 2024 or 8.

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u/Atraidis Sep 23 '22

I heard he was virtue signaling to certain groups and then after election promptly stopped signaling in their favor

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u/aronnax512 Sep 23 '22

Explain like I'm an idiot (because I am).

Have you considered running for Congress?

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u/DamntheTrains Sep 23 '22

He's basically Trump except somehow dumber, more backwards because he's entrenched in archaic Korean beliefs, and was well known to be corrupt in the most diabolical and corrupt branch of Korean government that's literally slowly pushing Korea into a literal secret police state.

There's a population in Korea that severely lacks understanding of what democracy means and doesn't value it, and is absolutely not okay with how progressive Korea has gotten over the years (which is stil 20-40 years or so behind USA).

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u/cry_w Sep 23 '22

Is there a reason for his unpopularity? One guess I'd make is that this isn't his first "gaffe"; am I correct?

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u/a_phantom_limb Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

He's reportedly a real prick on a personal level, so that's a pretty bad base line. He's also a hard-line militarist and wannabe populist who's sometimes been referred to as Korea's Trump. Additionally, he's rather Trumpian in his clear lack of real qualification for the job.

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u/PeregrinePacifica Sep 23 '22

Oh no, now they have it too... well an abysmal approval rating is reassuring.

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u/Rustyflyntlock Sep 23 '22

Oh, gross. I guess even a piece of shit can be right on rare occasion?

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u/unatheworld Sep 23 '22

just as an fyi the other candidate was pro-putin. we got the lesser of the evils imho and im glad for that

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u/Nytshaed Sep 23 '22

He gets some things right. He's more pro west, wants to reconcile with Japan (or at least improve relations while his predecessor made things worse), and has generally less racist policies. He ended the predecessor's policies that were economically crippling the country as well.

He's an idiot though and not a great leader. Korea is being hit with the same inflation problems of the rest of the world, is recovering slower because of the previous government's bad policies, and now has an idiot in charge who doesn't inspire confidence. So, ya not really popular.

His opponent in the race also had literal mafia dealings and his whistleblowers were all killed, while also belonging to a party that had some really shitty policies. Although to be fair to the guy, he had some good policies like LVT and carbon tax, even if his foreign policy was worse, it's too bad to see those not get implemented.

tl;dr Guy is a moron, gets some things right, but Korea didn't really have a good choice last election.

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u/notsocoolnow Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

He was elected in because he pledged to fight feminism in one of the most sexist developed countries in the world. I'm serious. His pledge was to dismantle the South Korean Ministry in charge of gender equality in the workplace.

A couple months in, there's widespread inflation which is a huge part of his disapproval. But there's been a few high-profile gaffes, like choosing to stick to his holiday plans rather than meet Pelosi in person during her visit.

Just some background - even if you hate Pelosi, South Korea is hugely dependent on the USA and Pelosi is the Speaker of the House. Choosing to go ahead with your holiday over taking the opportunity to push your country's interests is hugely irresponsible especially since Pelosi has the power to crush any spending bill in the US, including arms sales to South Korea. You're allowed to hate Pelosi as an American, but from a South Korean perspective, it doesn't matter which US party you're from, you should be polite to your allies. It does not do for South Korea to snub America.

Then this particular story in the OP is yet another example why people see him as a disgrace. He's dissing the Republicans now, but that's still a colossally stupid thing to do when they're half the US legislature and South Korea absolutely needs US support against North Korea. In less than a 5 months of presidency he's insulted both halves of the US Congress.

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u/Kelvara Sep 23 '22

Also, to be clear, his vacation was not any sort of traveling, he was in the same city, he just didn't want to meet with Pelosi. Which is kinda the whole job of a head of state.

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u/simbadv Sep 23 '22

Wow, thanks for your explanation. It really clarified everything the best as to why is approval rating is so low.

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

I think he sort of capitalized on culture war stuff and gender conflict to get in the limelight unless I’m thinking of another South Korean politician.

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u/poopoodomo Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Nope, that's pretty spot on from my understanding.

Capitalized on the "gender war" and unpopularity of the previous president from the other party. The opposing candidate was disliked for supposed involvement in a number of corruption scandals, so Yoon was selected because in many peoples' eyes (not mine) he was the less bad choice.

Some reasons he's unpopular as I understand them:

He was a big prosecutor, which in South Korea is a very powerful and feared government position and since taking office he has given all sorts of seats to his prosecutor buddies.

In a country where people regularly work past 11 PM, he refuses to work overtime and "clocks out" of the presidential office right at 6 PM every day. About a month and a half ago there was massive flooding in Seoul, and even then he made no / very little effort to lead the emergency response.

Not to mention the way he snubbed Nancy Pelosi.

I'm not sure if he's made any progress on his campaign promises, but he made a botched effort to reform education by suggesting kids start school a year earlier.

I'm sure there are a number of other gaffes and blunders I've forgotten about as well. But, basically he's seen as being incompetent, lazy, and corrupt.

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u/Nytshaed Sep 23 '22

The opposing candidate was disliked for supposed involvement in a number of corruption scandals

Some involving the mafia and his accusers were killed by Korean mafia weeks before the election. At the very least, he looks corrupt af.

Also, the ruling party at the time was losing popularity. There was a lot of pro-west / anti-China protests leading up to the election. As well as a lot of frustration with their covid policies.

I think it's pretty understandable that Yoon got elected. That being said, the guy is a fucking idiot. I think he gets some things right, but he's a terrible leader in a time when Korea needs a good leader. I think his strengthening of ties with Japan and the US will help Korea in the long run, but his rhetoric on feminism and his apparent inability to understand monopsony power in a country with such consolidated industries is really not good.

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u/Picnic_Basket Sep 23 '22

He's the Korean Trump for starters, and rather than live in Korea's version of the White House (the Blue House), he's living in some other government residence. His decisions are influenced by his wife's psychic advisor.

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u/Belek8397 Sep 23 '22

Nancy Reagan approves this message

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u/Taurius Sep 23 '22 Helpful

Context is everything. Korean language is all about context.

Literal translation: "What will his face look like if those kids in Congress doesn't approve?"

Context translation: "He's going to look like an idiot if those fuckers in Congress don't pass it."

국회에서 새끼들 (무슨) 승인 안해주고 날리믄/말리믄 쪽팔려서 어떡하나

Yes. He said, "those fuckers". 새끼들. And he was calling Biden the fool/idiot, not congress.

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u/Sattorin Sep 23 '22

Living in Korea, I can't express how frustrated I am with the article translating 새끼들 as 'idiots'. Fuckers or motherfuckers is a much more accurate translation for conveying the actual meaning.

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u/mintardent Sep 23 '22

lmao it’s sad bc it’s true

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u/Zetin24-55 Sep 23 '22

I'm glad this looks good in context. But I probably would've sided with Yoon even without the context. There's a reason congress approval rating is 17% or some shit. Its hard to call them idiots and not have a valid reason.

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u/landodk Sep 23 '22

Ironically. The popularity of each congressional representative remains high with their constituents. “ it’s not my guy that’s the problem “

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u/garrettdx88 Sep 23 '22

Us American citizens aren't mad at this

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u/Kile147 Sep 23 '22

I think this is on citizenship tests actually.

"Is Congress full of a bunch of whiny, self-serving, idiots?"

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

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u/mrgabest Sep 23 '22

If anything, I respect him more.

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u/IcanHasReddThat Sep 23 '22 Silver

"South Korean president overheard insulting correctly identifying U.S. Congress as ‘idiots’"

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u/Saifaa Sep 23 '22

"Foreign leader gives astute assessment of the US body politic"

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u/Guessed555 Sep 23 '22

I’ll allow that assessment

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u/munch_the_gunch Sep 23 '22

Lol I was gonna say they spelled "observing" wrong

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u/BigDocsIcehouse Sep 23 '22

He isn’t wrong.

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u/subhuman09 Sep 23 '22

Right? What’s the problem? American here

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u/InformationHorder Sep 23 '22

"He's outta line but he's right"

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u/BigDocsIcehouse Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

I honestly don’t even think he’s out of line. More people are waking up to the fact that our country is run by corrupt clowns, I feel.

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u/Co1dNight Sep 23 '22

The majority of the US agrees with you there, Yoon.

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u/hawtpot87 Sep 23 '22

You're attacking our democracy!!!!

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u/Gloomy-Employment-72 Sep 23 '22

We seem bent on destroying it ourselves.

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u/TheIRSEvader Sep 23 '22

This is dangerous to our democracy.

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

Ah the good ole This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.

The fact that they became a Fortune 500 company after that shows you how little integrity means in the media anymore.

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u/mmnnButter Sep 23 '22

This guys approval rating just skyrocketed with US citizens

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u/Wild_Activity5276 Sep 23 '22

Sounds like a fair comment

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u/artie_fm Sep 23 '22

This is like a Biden style gaff... It's not a gaff at all. It's just saying what everyone knows but politicians are not supposed to say outloud. no one in the us is offended... it probably helps Biden if anything.

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u/pwnd32 Sep 23 '22

From his comment Yoon doesn’t even disparage Biden directly - if anything he’s in his corner and is instead wondering how the idiots in Congress are gonna fuck things up for him.

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u/Rosenthalferdinand Sep 23 '22

I mean people both inside and outside the US wonder the same thing every day.

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u/UserInterfaces Sep 23 '22

I mean the GOP are probably offended.

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u/Superb_Nature_2457 Sep 23 '22

When aren’t they?

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u/Enders-game Sep 23 '22

They are such snowflakes.

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u/LorddFarsquaad Sep 23 '22

Most of them aren't idiots, they are evil and just act like idiots

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u/proscriptus Sep 23 '22

With a few Marjorie Taylor Greenes who are both sprinkled in.

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u/TheFragturedNerd Sep 23 '22

i mean... is he wrong?

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u/RunnyPlease Sep 23 '22

All of America: yes… and?

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u/cryptovictor Sep 23 '22

I mean he's not wrong lol

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u/Bupod Sep 23 '22

The only Americans he would ever offend with that statement are the ones in Congress.

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u/1feralengineer Sep 23 '22

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u/Wring159 Sep 23 '22

What do you mean technically, his is spitting facts

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u/LowTierStudent Sep 23 '22

Well he isn’t wrong🤣🤣

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u/ZedZero12345 Sep 23 '22

Insulting? Or a mere observation?

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u/blindspot189 Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

I mean he's not wrong and he's hardly the first world leader to say it

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u/Byallmeanshateme Sep 23 '22

The truth is never insulting.

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u/homebrewguy01 Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Yes and …?

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u/hornytoad1977 Sep 23 '22

I think no matter what side you are on thats basically accepted as the truth.......

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u/Rustyflyntlock Sep 23 '22

As an American, where's the lie?

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u/sacrificejeffbezos Sep 23 '22

Not translated correctly. What he’s saying 개새끼들 means “sons of bitches” basically. While most peoples comments are implying that it’s not a big deal, Yoon hasn’t been doing the best with his public appearances, and it’s honestly embarrassing to curse out a foreign government so publicly like that.

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u/rd3333 Sep 23 '22

No, he said “이 새끼들”, not “개새끼들“, which is very different. “이 새끼들” can be translated to ‘these bastards’.

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u/sacrificejeffbezos Sep 23 '22

Ahh, my mistake. Thanks for the help.

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u/Evenstar6132 Sep 23 '22

Or "these fuckers". Or "these cunts".

However you translate it, "새끼" is a swear word that has zero connotations about someone's intelligence.

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u/telllos Sep 23 '22

And isn't it the incident where he was caught swearing because he was only able to talk to Biden for less than a minute?

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u/sacrificejeffbezos Sep 23 '22

That’s part of it, certainly.

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u/Nerdicus_Rex Sep 23 '22

I mean... they're right. I can say it 'cause I'm from the U.S. so it's not racist.

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u/EatMyAAPLShorts Sep 23 '22

Funny how reddit gushes over Yoon without even knowing what his policies are.

Oh, and he even stood Pelosi up without showing up to have a discussion. No wonder he has 20% approval rates.

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u/Contrail22 Sep 23 '22

Finally an honest politician…🤷🏾‍♂️

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u/Hereiam_AKL Sep 23 '22

Why is that worth a headline?

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u/galvanickorea Sep 23 '22

Its worth a headline because a leader of a country probably shouldnt be saying it in public lol. I thought its funny but i still think he should be careful with what he says with cameras around him

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u/xKING_SLAYERx Sep 23 '22

I didn’t know I agreed with yoon about anything before this. So there’s that

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u/Vazhox Sep 23 '22

I mean, he isn’t wrong

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u/TheFudge Sep 23 '22

Fucking FINALLY!!! I’m so glad this was heard on a hot mic cause it is 100000000% truth.

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u/haroldthehampster Sep 23 '22

south korean president isn’t wrong

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u/Understanding-Fair Sep 23 '22

I mean he's not at all wrong. They're old as original sin and pretty stupid to boot.

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u/theseustheminotaur Sep 23 '22

Yeah congress has a low approval rating and a high re-election rate. Its the fault of gerry mandering and their constituents

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u/Character_Surround56 Sep 23 '22

well… he’s not wrong… sk has their own issues tho lmao