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Japan's History With Korea Darker Than NBC Olympic Commentary Suggests

12 February 2018, 01:23 | Devin Moran

Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Bruce Bennett  Getty Images

During NBC's Winter Olympics opening ceremony coverage last week, analyst Joshua Cooper Ramo made an observation about the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula that was seen as highly offensive and insensitive to Koreans.

"Some say it's questionable whether Ramo has been even following the news leading up to the current Olympics, as some of the disputes between South Korea and Japan erupted even during the preparation phase of the games", the Korea Herald added, mentioning as an example the unified Korean flag that Ramo liked so much.

Since making the ignorant and controversial comment, thousands took to various social media platforms to express their discomfort and anger.

As Japan entered PyeongChang Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony on Friday, Ramo said "every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation".

What do you think of the situation?

U.S. broadcaster NBC has apologised after offending Koreans by seemingly downplaying Japan's colonial occupation of the peninsula.




A petition demanding an apology quickly began circulating online.

"We received an official letter from NBC, saying that it apologizes for making the inappropriate comments", said The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

The petition said, "Any reasonable person familiar with the history of Japanese imperialism, and the atrocities it committed before and during WWII, would find such statement deeply [hurtful] and outrageous". They also criticized the accuracy of giving Japan credit for South Korea's resurgence.

Ramo, who won an Emmy Award for his commentary during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, will reportedly no longer be on assignment for the duration of these Olympics.

NBC also confirmed that Ramo's assignment to assist with Olympic coverage - which was meant to be temporary - has now been terminated.

An NBC Sports spokesperson, who refused to be named, told The Korea Times Sunday that Ramo has been removed from the role.



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