South Korean President Yoon Se-yeol overheard calling the U.S. Congress an ‘idiot’

South Korean President Yoon Se-yeol, who was insulted as an “idiot” by a hot microphone on Wednesday, could embarrass President Biden if they don’t approve funding for global public health.

Yoon just met Biden at the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment meeting in New York City. There, Biden pledged $6 billion from the United States for a public health campaign that fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria globally. The funding requires congressional approval.

“If these idiots don’t pass it in Congress, it’s going to be very humiliating for Biden,” Yin was overheard telling a group of aides as they left the event. The video of the exchange went viral in South Korea, and Yoon took office in May.

A representative for Yoon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. A spokesman for the National Security Adviser said in a statement Thursday that it “does not comment on the microphone’s popular comments.”

“Our relationship with the Republic of Korea is strong and growing,” the statement said. “President Biden counts President Yoon as a key ally. Yesterday, the two leaders had a productive and good meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.”

According to Agence France-Presse, the leader of South Korea’s opposition Democratic Party, Park Hong-geun, criticized Yoon for “slurring the U.S. Congress” as a “major diplomatic blunder”.

Yin and Biden were both in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, where they discussed on the sidelines Wednesday.

“The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the U.S.-South Korea alliance and ensuring close cooperation to address the threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea),” the White House said in a readout of the meeting. “The presidents also discussed our continued collaboration on a wide range of priority issues, including supply chain resilience, critical technologies, economic and energy security, global health and climate change.”

Min Joo Kim contributed to this report.

South Korean President Yoon Se-yeol was slow to respond when asked by a Washington Post reporter about gender on Sept. 9. 21. (Video: Washington Post)

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