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Former Saenuri lawmaker apologizes over inappropriate remark

All News 18:53 July 21, 2016

SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) -- Song Young-sun, a former lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party, apologized on Thursday for describing Chinese people as a "pack of beggars," adding Beijing is an important partner for South Korea in northeast Asia.

Song made the remark while expressing discontent against Beijing's stringent opposition to South Korea's decision to deploy an advanced missile defense system here.

Making an appearance at a cable news channel on Saturday, the outspoken politician argued that just 20 years ago, "the pack of 1.1 billion beggars" would not have had the audacity to make demands on South Korea.

"I deeply apologize for hurting the dignity of the Chinese people through my remark," Song said in a statement, adding she wished her mistake would not adversely impact bilateral relations.

Beijing and Moscow have been expressing concerns over the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea, adding the system will escalate tension in the northeast Asia.

While the South Korean government and the ruling party claim that THAAD is necessary to curb North Korea's continuous provocations, the opposition blocs here have been expressing concerns over health issues associated with the systems powerful X-band radar as well as potential diplomatic fallouts.

colin@yna.co.kr
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