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MANILA, Philippines - Videos of South Korean rapper Psy performing an anti-American song in 2004 came back to haunt him right before a Christmas performance for President Barack Obama and family in the White House on December 9.
One video shows Psy smashing and dismantling a replica of a US military tank at a concert in protest for the death of two 13-year-old South Korean schoolgirls after being hit by an American tank driven by American soldiers.
In 2004, Psy reportedly participated in a political concert in Seoul after a South Korean missionary was killed in Iraq. He was among the artists who protested the country’s decision to aid the US in the war with Iraq. A song he performed reportedly included the lyrics:
Kill those f**king Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives / Kill those f**king Yankees who ordered them to torture / Kill their daughters, mothers, daughter-in-law and fathers / Kill them all slowly and painfully
Psy's publicist released this apology on December 7:
"As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world.
The song in question — from 8 years ago -—was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words.
I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months — including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them — and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology. While it's important we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that though music, our universal language, we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology."
Despite the controversy, Psy performed for President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama as planned at the "Christmas in Washington" concert last Sunday, December 9.
President Obama was photographed afterwards shaking Psy's hand. - Rappler.com
(Psy will be in Manila on December 20 for The Gangnam Show: PSY LIVE in Manila. Concert proceeds will go to the Ciara Marie Foundation and victims of typhoon Pablo.)
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