Updated February 16th, 2024 at 17:56 IST

South Korea President Defends Rough Handling of Heckler after Viral Video

The incident occurred during a ceremony at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Reported by: Digital Desk
South Korean leader's bodyguards dragging a man and forcibly removing him. | Image:X
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South Korea’s leader, Yoon Suk Yeol, on Friday defended the conduct of his security guards who were seen dragging a man and forcibly removing him during Yoon’s speech on the stage at a university graduation ceremony. The video attracted widespread backlash as several members of President Yoon Suk Yeol security detail muzzled and heckled the man, gagging him at first then evicting him from the hall.

The incident occurred during a ceremony at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The man was protesting against cuts to the research and development budget under the Yoon administration. South Korean President was promising support to the researchers when the man interrupted and registered his grievances. At this point, the bodyguards on Yoon’s security detail tussled with the man and dragged him out.

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The conduct of the security was criticised by the South Koreans, and the keywords like "KAIST graduation ceremony" and "budget cuts" trended on social media. Several users derided the behaviour of Yoon’s bodyguards, while others called out at their arrogance. The South Koreans demanded immediate apology. “Apologize, President,” South Korea‘s main opposition party leader, Lee Jae-myung, wrote in a post on X. 

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This isn’t the first time that Yoon’s bodyguards have created firestorm due to their conduct. Minor progressive Jinbo Party lawmaker Kang Sung-hee was also dragged out of a venue last month. In his defense,  Yoon’s office said at that time that Kang was yelling, and not letting go of the president’s hand, and therefore was escorted out of the venue.

Meanwhile, hundreds of South Korean doctors this week protested against the government’s plan to boost the number of medical students, The doctors took to street to revolt saying that increasing the number of students by 2000 would be too high, but the authorities argue that South Korea needs to doctors. The country has been facing critical shortages of doctors, mainly the obstetrics and pediatrics.

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Published February 16th, 2024 at 17:56 IST