May 4 (UPI) — A Japanese television network apologized for using the photograph of South Korea’s first lady in a graphic depicting North Korea’s ruling family.
BS TV Tokyo had aired the image on Saturday, showing first lady Kim Jung-sook as the spouse of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Monday.
South Korea’s presidential overseas press secretary Kim Ae-kyung said in a text message to reporters the Blue House requested the Japanese TV station apologize for the error and to issue a correction on Monday.
“We are discussing the specific details [with the Japanese channel] and contents of the correction to be issued,” Seoul said.
The Japanese TV program was addressing the recent rumors regarding Kim Jong Un’s ill health. Kim reappeared after a 20-day absence on Saturday, local time.
The network made the error in a Kim family tree graphic that displayed the photograph of South Korea’s Kim Jung-sook, in place of Kim Jong Suk, the first wife of Kim Il Sung and biological grandmother of current ruler Kim Jong Un.
Kim Jong Suk is considered a national hero in North Korea, where official lore claims she saved her husband’s life during an armed skirmish in Japanese-occupied Manchuria.
Relations between Japan and South Korea deteriorated rapidly in 2019, when Japan began to restrict exports of key chemicals.
There has been little cooperation on COVID-19 between the two neighbors.
Last week, South Korea dismissed reports claiming Seoul was planning to send face masks to Japan, where the number of infections have surpassed South Korea’s, following the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
“Though overseas shipments of face masks are currently restricted, we will actively consider the outbound shipment of COVID-19 quarantine products, including masks, when the domestic circumstances allow room for it,” Seoul said last week.
Seoul is lifting social distancing guidelines on Wednesday, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has extended Tokyo’s state of emergency to May 31, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.
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