U.S. broadcaster NBC apologized Sunday for remarks by a pundit at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang that downplayed Japan's brutal colonial rule of Korea.
When the camera captured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the VIP stands during Friday's ceremony, rent-a-quote Joshua Cooper Ramo said Japan is "a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945, but every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation."
NBC's website and social networks were duly inundated with criticism and calls for an apology for the inappropriate and insensitive remark. NBC at one point blocked access from Korea.
Various online petition sites attracted thousands of signatures demanding an apology, and Ramo's remarks were widely slammed in the U.S. press.
On the Saturday morning news, NBC anchor Carolyn Manno read a statement saying, "We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize."
The Olympics organizing committee said it has also received an official apology letter from NBC.
Ramo sits on the board of Kissinger Associates, a policy advisory firm founded by ex-secretary of state Henry Kissinger, and various other companies and is much sought-after on TV as a talking head on all matters Asian.