American television network NBC has apologised for broadcasting inappropriate comments as Japan marched at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games here on Friday (February 9).
Joshua Cooper Ramo, an Asian commentator for NBC, had claimed that Japan played an "important" role in South Korea's recent achievements as a country.
Ramo introduced Japan as "a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945" before adding that "every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation".
His comments sparked outrage on the internet and social media with Koreans demanding an apology from NBC.
In response, NBC had anchor Carolyn Manno read a statement on its cable and satellite channel NBCSN yesterday.
"We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologise," she said.
Pyeongchang 2018 revealed it had received an official letter from NBC, apologising for making the inappropriate comments.
Japan’s 35-year colonisation of Korea, between 1910 and 1945, was marked by harsh rule and human rights abuse.
It culminated in Korea splitting into two countries at the end of World War Two.
This is the second Olympic Games that Ramo, vice-chairman and co-chief executive of New York City-based international consulting firm Kissinger Associates, has worked for NBC.
He shared in a Peabody and Emmy Award for his work during Beijing 2008.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe agreed last month to attend the Opening Ceremony of Pyeongchang 2018 after previously threatening to boycott the event due to a diplomatic row with South Korea.
Abe had hinted he could decline the opportunity to visit the Games following South Korea's new reservations about an agreement over "comfort women".
The relationship between South Korea and Japan has greatly deteriorated in recent years due to several disputes.
One of these has been caused by Japan's refusal to negotiate South Korea's demands that it apologise or pay reparations for mistreatment of World War Two comfort women from Korea - women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in occupied territories.
Japan is due host the next Olympics after Pyeongchang - the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
Abe has also previously called for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to "properly lay out our position on our comfort women agreement".
Moon had earlier claimed it was not possible to resolve the dispute between the two countries.
A South Korean Government Task Force claimed to have found faults in the domestic process that led to an accord in December 2015.
The Task Force claimed the opinions of the surviving former comfort women were not "sufficiently reflected" in the negotiation process.