December 3, 2022

The performing chairman of the ruling Folks Energy Occasion (PPP) has apologized after a textual content dialog he had with President Yoon Suk-yeol was caught on digicam, during which Yoon was seen backbiting about suspended occasion chief Lee Jun-seok.

PPP flooring chief Kweon Seong-dong took over as performing chief of the occasion early this month after the occasion’s ethics committee suspended Lee’s occasion membership for six months over allegations of sexual bribery and a cover-up.

On Tuesday, Kweon was caught on press cameras writing a textual content message to Yoon on his cell phone. The display screen additionally confirmed earlier messages from Yoon saying he was proud of the change within the occasion’s management and took a swipe at Lee.

“Our occasion is doing an excellent job. We should always maintain this up,” Yoon wrote within the messages despatched by way of Telegram. “Because the substitute of the occasion chair who used to shoot upon ourselves, our occasion has develop into totally different.”

Yoon was seen criticizing Lee for specializing in an inside battle reasonably than attacking the opposition occasion.

Kweon mentioned in response, “We are going to uphold your want, and present unity between the occasion and the federal government.”

Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, performing chair and flooring chief of the Folks Energy Occasion, exchanges a textual content message throughout an interpellation session on the Nationwide Meeting on July 26, 2022. (Pool photograph) (Yonhap)

Hours later, Kweon issued an apology, saying he would take full duty over the incident.

“It’s solely my fault {that a} private dialog with the president was revealed resulting from my carelessness and induced misunderstanding,” he mentioned in a Fb publish. “Whatever the purpose, I apologize to fellow occasion members and the individuals for inflicting concern.”

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On Wednesday, Kweon apologized once more however confused the significance of privateness.

“Personal texts had been revealed in opposition to my will,” Kwon informed reporters, declining to reply questions on the matter. “My privateness also needs to be protected.”

The presidential workplace expressed remorse over the incident.

“The truth that a non-public dialog was uncovered beneath no matter circumstances, and induced a misunderstanding among the many individuals and varied media shops is vastly undesirable,” Choi Younger-bum, senior presidential secretary for public relations, mentioned at a press briefing.

Lee expressed displeasure.

“I clearly understood it with none misunderstanding,” he mentioned in a textual content message despatched to Yonhap, referring to the presidential workplace’s assertion that the revelation induced misunderstanding. “I hope the presidential workplace doesn’t misunderstand that I didn’t perceive it.”

In a Fb publish, Lee additionally talked about what his relations together with his political rivals had been like when he was occasion chief, saying they bullied him when cameras went away and approached with smiles to shake his hand when cameras got here again in.

“This island is nice, as a result of all the pieces is as candid because it appears,” Lee mentioned, referring to the East Sea island of Ulleung, the place he has been staying.

Since taking on as occasion chief, Lee has always been at odds with President Yoon’s core associates, typically dubbed “Yoonhaekgwan,” together with Kweon, and claimed his suspension was the results of political machinations engineered by them.

The primary opposition Democratic Occasion (DP) known as the revelations “very stunning” and criticized Yoon for intervening in occasion politics.

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“It isn’t fascinating for the president to get deeply concerned within the PPP’s energy wrestle,” Rep. Woo Sang-ho, interim chief of the DP, informed a celebration assembly.

“Is the president of the Republic of Korea so free as to ship this type of message … elated after eliminating the ruling occasion’s chairman?” Woo mentioned. “The individuals’s livelihoods and economic system are getting worse as a result of the president pays consideration to a difficulty like this.”

Woo mentioned Lee’s removing was confirmed to be the “joint work of President Yoon and Yoonhaekgwan.”