South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. first daughter Ivanka Trump have been called many things before, but no one expected them to be described as a “killer couple.” A Turkish broadcaster apparently mistook Moon and Trump as the couple suspected of murdering a Filipino national in Kuwait.
The Korean government is demanding an apology from the Turkish channel’s Show TV after a news program used a photo of Moon Jae-in to depict the murder suspect, Korea Times reported. A photo of Moon and Ivanka was also splashed across the screen as the female broadcaster called them a “killer couple” during the show’s February 25 episode. The newscaster said that Moon and Trump were married and described them as a “millionaire businessman and his wife.” She also said the two met in PyeongChang during the Winter Olympics.
Moon and Ivanka did meet at the Winter Olympics, but they were there as representatives of their respective countries. Moon, in fact, was the host leader, as the sporting event was held in South Korea.
The blunder was discovered by Koreans residing in Turkey who saw the broadcast. They reported it to the South Korean embassy in Ankara, which informed the Turkish channel of their mistake.
“We made multiple complaints to the broadcaster through our embassy there immediately after the program was aired,” read a statement release by the South Korean foreign ministry. “We have also called for assurances to prevent similar accidents from happening.”
Foreign ministry demands Turkish TV apologize for wrongly using Moon photo https://t.co/Ccxa0xD520— Yonhap News Agency (@YonhapNews) March 11, 2018
Moon and Ivanka were wrongfully depicted as the suspected murderers of Joanna Demafelis, a Filipina who was working in Kuwait at the time of her death. The body of Demafelis was discovered inside a freezer.
The actual suspects, Nader Essam Assaf, a Lebanese citizen, and his Syrian wife, Mona, are now in custody, Straits Times reported. The Philippine government has since banned Filipinos from working in Kuwait, according to news.com.au.
Understandably, South Koreans are not happy that President Moon Jae-in was wrongfully linked to the gruesome crime.
“If their president was falsely described as a murder suspect in other countries, the Turkish people and the government would ask for an apology too,” said a South Korean residing in Turkey.
The broadcaster has since deleted the video and sent a formal letter of apology to the ministry ealier this month, according to RT. These measures were not enough, however, as the South Korean foreign ministry demanded that the Turkish channel issue a public apology on air.
Ivanka Trump and the U.S. government have, as of this writing, yet to issue a statement on the matter.