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Yoon calls for Assembly's cooperation for Global Fund pledge

09:31 September 23, 2022

By Lee Haye-ah

TORONTO, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Thursday (U.S. time) called on the National Assembly to render active cooperation for the execution of a pledge to contribute US$100 million to a global fund for fighting infectious diseases.

Yoon wrote in a Facebook message that he attended the Global Fund's Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York on Wednesday and committed $100 million from South Korea for the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the next three years.

"Solidarity of the international community cannot be realized unless it is accompanied by specific actions," he wrote. "I look forward to the active cooperation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. We will stand together and act with the international community."

(From L to R) U.S. President Joe Biden, (RED) Ambassador Connie Mudenda, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz join a group photo session after attending the seventh replenishment conference of the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in New York on Sept. 21, 2022. (Yonhap)

The message was posted amid controversy in South Korea over his foul language during the event.

In a video that has since gone viral, Yoon can be heard telling his aides in vulgar language that it would be embarrassing if the National Assembly did not approve of something unspecified.

It was initially thought that he was referring to U.S. President Joe Biden's pledge to contribute another $6 billion to the Global Fund, unleashing a torrent of criticism Yoon had created a diplomatic disaster.

But Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, told reporters Thursday that Yoon made no mention of Biden.

The actual word he used was the Korean word for "throw out," she said, and Yoon was talking about how he would be embarrassed if the National Assembly, which is controlled by the main opposition Democratic Party, rejected his $100 million pledge.



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