February 04, 2013 12:14
President-elect Park Geun-hye's spokeswoman has been prompted to issue a response to rumors that a new handbag Park was spotted carrying is worth more than W1 million (US$1=W1,095).
The offending object is a grey tote bag about the size of a briefcase.
One report on Saturday said the bag seems to be from Hormiga, a domestic maker of high-end bags using ostrich and crocodile skin, and cost W1.28 million.
The head of the firm was keen to confirm that Park's tote bag was indeed from Hormiga, causing its website to experience a surge in visitors over the weekend and its name to jump to the top of most-searched terms on the internet.
Twitter was a-twitter with complaints that Park should not be using such an expensive accessory, while others hailed her choice of a Korean-made bag.
Park's spokeswoman Cho Yoon-sun finally sent a text message to reporters on Saturday night claiming that the bag was in fact made by a small manufacturer and did not cost a lot of money.
She claimed Park has so far "only carried two old leather bags, but they have grown tattered along the edges after she used them for more than 10 years, so she recently bought a new one." Cho added the president-elect "believes that it is important to help promising small businesses and she bought the bag according to that belief."
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