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PSY Apologizes for Anti-American Protest Rap; Set to Perform with President Obama in Attendance

Image courtesy of ABC/TODD WAWRYCHUK (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of ABC/TODD WAWRYCHUK (via ABC News Radio)

South Korean, "Gangnam Style" sensation PSY , is apologizing for a 2004 performance in which he said American soldiers should be killed “slowly and painfully.”  The apology comes days before he is scheduled to perform at a holiday concert that will be attended by President Obama and his family.

In a statement issued by a representative PSY says that he will ”forever be sorry for any pain I have caused” by what he rapped at a Seoul concert that took place during a protest against the Iraq war.

As part of a performance, PSY rhymed in Korean:

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, daughters-in-law, and fathers 
Kill them all slowly and painfully

The concert was held on the heels of the decapitation of a Korean missionary by Islamic militants in Iraq, which fueled anti-U.S. military sentiment in South Korea.  It followed an earlier incident in which an American military vehicle struck and killed two 13-year-old Korean girls. The soldiers involved in the incident were later acquitted of negligent homicide.  After that incident, at a concert to protest U.S. military policy in South Korea, PSY reportedly smashed a model of a U.S. tank with a mic stand.

PSY is scheduled to perform at the National Building Museum on Sunday at a taping of the annual Christmas in Washington  show produced by TNT.   A White House official confirmed to ABC News that the Obama family will attend the taping, as is custom.  The annual charity function benefits the National Children’s Medical Center and the entertainment is not chosen by the White House. It will be broadcast on TNT December 21.

Here’s the apology PSY released, in full:

“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 eight 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.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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