President Yoon’s defense of first lady in TV interview ignites backlash
Yoon’s low approval rate could deepen rifts within the ruling People Power Party and alienate voters
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol addressed for the first time allegations surrounding first lady Kim Keon-hee’s acceptance of a luxury purse in 2022, describing the incident as a result of her failure to “cold-heartedly reject” a gift from a visitor who clandestinely filmed the encounter. In an interview with KBS TV that was filmed on Feb. 4 but aired on Wednesday, Yoon characterized the handbag, valued at around $2,200 (3 million won), as part of a “political maneuver,” emphasizing the need for clearer boundaries to prevent such incidents in the future.
Despite the incident’s potential implications for the ruling party’s image, Yoon suggested that future security measures at the presidential residence would mitigate similar risks. He also discussed plans to establish an office for managing the first lady’s affairs while expressing reservations about its effectiveness in preventing such controversies.
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