"I realized I had unintentionally hurt some people with my words. I offer my sincere apologies to those people."
The man in question has bowed to the pressure.
At a press conference Sunday, Prime Minister nominee Moon Chang-geuk, who is accused of having said things like "Japan's colonization of Korea was the will of God" and "Korean people are lazy," defended himself by saying that his view of history is no different from that of any other Korean -- especially when it comes to Japan's wartime sexual slavery.
"I've emphasized that Japan needs to make sincere apologies. Japan's wartime sexual slavery is a clear act of a crime against humanity."
As for his comments about Koreans being lazy, he explained he was only trying to point out the faults and wrongdoing of the aristocrats of the Joseon Dynasty, which led to Japan's rule of Korea in the early 20th century.
Whether his public apology will calm the waters remains to be seen.
Ruling Saenuri Party floor leader Lee Wan-koo says giving Moon a chance to explain himself at a parliamentary hearing is a democratic way of resolving the controversy.
But the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy is holding firm on its stance that the public has already found Moon inadequate as their prime minister and that he should withdraw his nomination.
The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae is expected to submit a request to the National Assembly on Tuesday asking lawmakers to vet the nominee.
Once the request is filed, legislators have 20 days to vote on the appointment.
Laah Hyun-kyung, Arirang News.
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