A confusing scuffle ensued in the hallways of Beijing’s China National Convention Center during South Korea’s president Moon Jae In’s visit with China’s president Xi Jinping for Korea-China Economic and Trade Partnership event.
Once the dust settled, 2 South Korean photographers with Blue House press credentials from Maeil Business and Hankook Daily were hospitalized in a nearby university hospital.
The two photographers were victims Chinese bodyguard’s violent and seemingly unprovoked actions.
The incident began when the two photographers argued with the bodyguards for being restricted, without explanation, from following President Moon as he moved through the building.
Then when the photographer from Hankook Daily protested, he was pushed hard to the floor.
Both were treated by an emergency doctor on site, then moved to a nearby hospital to be treated for back pain and cuts on and near the nose and eyes.
The violent assault on reporters come at a time when many Koreans and netizens, disgruntled at the media at large and its reporting style, have come up with the term, ki-raeki (trash-reporters) to denounce journalists and photographers in general.
Some even questioned why these reporters were in China in the first place.
“Trash reporters, if you weren’t going to report on anything, why did you crawl over to China in the first place. You only got beat up.”
기레기들에게 정말 궁금한건 어차피 보도도 하지 않을거면서
머하러 중국까지 기어가서 얻어터지냐는 거냐.
— 시민권력 (@jsaclova) December 14, 2017
Still, others took the opportunity to jab at the reporters’ practices and coverage.
“Is the president a celebrity? Ask these trash-reporters, they’ll write something only if a celebrity is involved.
Else they only know the president is at China only when they get beat up in China.”
대통령이 뭔 연옌이나 끼고도는 기사만 나오냐는 애들은 기레기들한테 물어봐 연옌이라도 껴야 기사 써줌 아니면 기레기 지들이 쳐맞아야 대통령이 중국 가 있는 줄 아는 세상이니까
— 손석희개소리봇_aka_sailormoon (@siahn1011) December 14, 2017
Some on Facebook were enraged at the incident and at netizens who were quick to criticize and fault the reporters.
Nam Seung Gul: I’ll summarize the article for those who’ll criticize without reading it. […] It was not an illegal reporting. It was the press’s right but those Chienese bodyguards just decided to assault them.
Jane Kim: Those who are blaming our reporters on online communities, could you stop??
The Blue House has expressed its concerns to Beijing and stated that it expects to see appropriate actions taken against the bodyguards.
Watch the full video below.