Winter Olympics 2018: NBC apologizes for political comments made during opening ceremony

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US broadcaster NBC apologized to South Korea's winter Games organizing committee on Sunday after a commentator offended locals during coverage of the opening ceremony by straying into the sensitive issue of Japan-South Korean relations.

NBC has apologised after one its correspondents caused uproar in South Korea by saying that "every Korean" knows how important Japan, which occupied the peninsula for 35 years until 1945, has been in the country's development.

Since making the ignorant and controversial comment, thousands took to various social media platforms to express their discomfort and anger.

NBC has apologized to South Koreans for an on-air remark by an analyst that cited Japan as an example that has been important to the country's own transformation.

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"Any reasonable person familiar with the history of Japanese imperialism, and the atrocities it committed before and during WWII, would find such statement deeply hurtful and outrageous", the petition read.

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Ramo's comment prompted thousands of people to sign a petition demanding an apology for Ramo, as many Koreans in fact don't see Japanese colonialism as a positive outcome (for example, historians say tens of thousands of Korean women were sold into sex slavery by the Japanese army).

United States broadcaster NBC has apologised after offending Koreans by seemingly downplaying Japan's colonial occupation of the peninsula.

The controversy started when analyst Joshua Cooper Ramo, who was hired to bring historical context to NBC's coverage, noted how significant Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit was.

The network had no real explanation for the insane comment other than to say sorry.

As of Sunday afternoon, Ramo's biography had been removed from the NBC Sports Pressbox website, which includes pages devoted to all the network's talent. He was added to the opening ceremony team of Mike Tirico and Katie Couric as an Asia expert, to help introduce viewers to an area of the world that might be unfamiliar to them.