Hong apologizes for rude remarks

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Hong apologizes for rude remarks

The newly elected head of the ruling Grand National Party yesterday offered a public apology during a press conference to a female reporter for using disrespectful language.

“I spoke to the reporter yesterday when my emotions were agitated,” GNP Chairman Hong Joon-pyo said. “I apologize before reporters now. There will never be another incident. I have already apologized to the reporter and the newspaper, and I am apologizing again.”

Public criticism escalated yesterday after the media reported that Hong had said he “may hit” a Kyunghyang Shinmun journalist who asked Hong questions about the savings bank corruption scandal.

The GNP, which had already experienced a similar public outcry over repeated slips-of-the-tongue by its last chairman, Ahn Sang-soo, quickly arranged a press conference yesterday to calm the situation.

After his visit Thursday afternoon to the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, Hong was asked by a female reporter of the Kyunghyang Shinmun about the allegation that he was involved in a corruption scandal involving Samhwa Mutual Savings Bank.

Asked if he had received money, Hong angrily replied, “Why are you asking that?” and “I may hit you if you continue. Was my name mentioned?”

The reporter continued to confront Hong by saying that the opposition party was making the allegation, and Hong said, “Why are you doing this to me? You are acting rudely.”

The Democratic Party has said that the GNP received money from Samhwa Mutual Savings Bank for its national conventions in July last year and this month, but the ruling party has flatly rejected the accusation.

“Not a single coin was received by the GNP, and we will hold the DP accountable for making the groundless accusation,” GNP spokesman Kim Gi-hyeon said.

After Hong’s remarks were reported, the DP issued a statement criticizing Hong and the GNP. “Hong’s cruel and violent language is well known,” said Kim Hyun, DP’s deputy spokeswoman. “This is a classic example of the GNP’s continued tradition of looking down on women, following the remarks by former chairman Ahn, Hong must apologize not only to the reporter but before the public.”

The Democratic Labor Party also criticized Hong. “It is very regretful that Hong is following the inappropriate path of his predecessor,” said Wu Wui-yeong, the party’s spokeswoman.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

‘너 맞는 수 있어’ … 홍준표, 기자회견 공개 사과

여기자에게 폭언을 한 한나라당 홍준표 대표가 15일 공개 사과를 했다. 그는 기자간담회를 자청해 “어제(14일) 있었던 언론인에 대한 격한 표현에 대해 진심으로 사과한다” 고 했다. 그러면서 “해당 언론사 간부들에게도 다 사과했고, 오늘 아침 해당 언론인에게도 사과했다. 기자 여러분이 모인 자리에서도 공식 사과한다”고 말했다.

민주당 우제창 의원은 14일 삼화저축은행의 불법자금 24억원이 한나라당 청년위원장을 지낸 이영수씨를 통해 한나라당에 전달됐다는 의혹을 제기했다. 이씨는 7·4 전당대회에서 홍 대표를 도운 것으로 알려져 있다. 이날 참여연대를 방문하고 나오던 홍 대표에게 한 일간지 여기자가 “이씨에게 돈 받은 게 있느냐”고 물었다. 흥분한 홍 대표는 “그런 거 왜 물어. 너 진짜 맞는 수 있어. 버릇없이 말이야”라고 했다.

홍 대표는 민주당이 제기한 의혹은 강하게 부인했다. 그는 “해당 의원은 책임져야 할 것”이라며 “나는 고소를 하지 않겠지만, 당이 하고, 당사자(이씨)가 고소를 할 것”이라고 밝혔다. “나도 지난 10년간 저격수를 해봤는데, 저격수는 실패하면 자기가 당할 각오를 해야 한다. 스나이퍼(저격수)는 ‘원샷 원킬(총알 한 발로 정확히 저격하는 것)’해야지 그러지 못하면 위치가 노출돼 자기가 당한다”고 했다.

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