Korean Vice-minister apologized for making an employee knelt in the rain for 10 minutes

Recently, several Korean TV broadcasting stations including SBS, MBN, YTN… have revealed the longer video taken at the conference of what happened after an employee was reportedly forced to kneel and hold up the umbrella for the Vice-minister for 10 minutes.

Over the past few days, fierce discussions have arisen among the Korean public over the incident of a male employee who knelt for 10 minutes in the rain to hold an umbrella for Korea’s Vice-minister Kang Sung Kook while he was giving a speech on August 27. The pictures of the outdoors briefing in front of the National Institute of Human Resource Development in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, after being published by the media, have received many criticisms from Korean netizens. “Is the Vice-minister the emperor?”, “Why didn’t he hold the umbrella himself?”, “The staff member’s parents must be heartbroken if they saw this”… – Korean netizens left comments on social media.

Recently, many Korean TV broadcasters including SBS, MBN, YTN… have revealed the full video taken at the briefing to give the public a comprehensive view of the incident. Accordingly, to ensure safety due to the pandemic, Vice-minister Kang Sung Kook decided to hold an outdoor conference to give a speech on the government’s support for the initial settlement of Afghans with special contributions in Korea.  

At first, Vice-minister Kang walked out holding the umbrella by himself before handing it to an employee behind him to start speaking. At that time, it was still raining, so another employee standing on the right side of the screen held an umbrella for the Vice-minister. However, this person was asked by reporters to stand behind Vice-minister Kang so as not to get into the camera.

Thus, the male employee moved behind the Vice Minister while holding up his umbrella and standing with a stooped posture, but continued to be asked by the reporters to keep his head down. He then stood while lowering his knees and holding the umbrella with one hand. After a while, perhaps because his arms and legs were too tired, he finally decided to kneel down and hold the umbrella with both hands. The male employee remained in that position for 10 minutes. As a result, pictures of him kneeling while holding up an umbrella for Vice-minister Kang Sung Kook were spread throughout the media platforms, receiving mixed reactions.

Reportedly, when the controversy broke out strongly, Vice Minister Kang Sung Kook issued an apology, “I apologize to the public. I did not realize the efforts of a Ministry of Justice employee to ensure the press conference took place formally and effectively”.

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