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Heathrow-gate: the plot thickens!

Remember the JoongAng Ilbo’s griping about the way the Korean delegation was treated in the UK, including by Heathrow security?

Well, the Korea Times suggests this was, in fact, an act of revenge orchestrated by nefarious UK Foreign Secretary William Hague:

A source familiar with the issue claimed Monday that U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague had something to do with the rough treatment of the Korean delegation.

“When Secretary Hague flew to Seoul in mid-October this year, I learned that his underlings faced quite tough security checks, which they hardly expected,” said the source.

“The U.K. wanted to get even with the similar acts toward President Park’s entourage last month. As far as I know, the government tentatively concluded that.”

To be fair to the Korean side, we’re apparently dealing with an influx of foreign homeless, so it probably doesn’t hurt to be thorough, especially with incoming diplomatic delegations.

What I don’t get, though, is if this was retaliation, why wait until Park and Co. were leaving the UK? The only reason I can think of is that because it was a state visit, screwing with the Koreans on the front end might have caused more scheduling headaches than it was worth.

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    Funny, how we didn’t read about Hagues “underlings” (who uses that word anymore? I think we use the word aide?)rough treatment in the British papers? That’s right because they’re professionals and understand that sometimes security checks are needed. They don’t break down and cry like the princesses in the Presidential Press Corps.

  • chablis

    An official rebuttal from the British embassy:


    Korean journalists or foreign embassy, I know whose word I’d be taking over this.

  • brier

    It is one thing to be an actual victim of some injustice. But when you have to go look for a reason to label yourself a victim, well…..

    Is there no bottom in Korean tabloid journalism?

  • Wedge1

    The self-beclownment of the pampered press continues apace.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Korean press playing the victim? Inconceivable!

  • http://f5waeg.blogspot.com/ F5Waeg

    “The self-beKlownment of the pampered press continues apace.”


  • http://f5waeg.blogspot.com/ F5Waeg

    “The schedule for the visit – agreed by both
    sides – made it clear that members of the media should leave their hotel
    by 8 a.m. in order to avoid delaying the president’s departure to
    Belgium. Despite this advice being repeated, on several occasions, a
    briefing of the Korean media began at the hotel at 8 a.m. This was over
    the strong objections of U.K. officials who wanted to ensure a smooth
    and timely departure for the president and her party. This unscheduled
    addition to the program in turn led to a late departure from the hotel
    and was the sole reason for the president’s subsequent delay.”

    I have no doubt that this is 100% true.

  • seouldout

    Hi, Hague’s underling here. Regrettably the Korean press has found us out. Indeed it was revenge.

    As gifts to our Korean hosts we brought dozens of small pillows covered in the Union Flag (a.k.a. Union Jack) on which “Great Britain” was stenciled. Our embassy in Seoul reported prior to our arrival that these pillows decorate the rear seat of many Koreans’ automobiles. Imagine our bewilderment when Korean Customs seized the pillows. claiming them to be counterfeit. We were duly informed the genuine Union Flag pillow had “England” stenciled on it. When we explained St George’s Cross is the flag of England we were accused of being imposters and ushered into an interrogation room After an 11-hour delay during which Seoul obtained HRM Elizabeth’s promise to send over “correct” Union Flag pillows, i.e. the ones with “England” stenciled on them, we were released Being guests on the Korean government and the Korean people we decided to keep this incident quiet so as not to embarrass our hosts.

  • ChuckRamone

    You have no doubt it’s 100% true even though the explanation hardly makes sense? “We were so concerned about their departing at the right time that we detained them for a long time to hold them up even more.”

  • http://f5waeg.blogspot.com/ F5Waeg

    Yes, I have absolutely no doubt that the journalists decided they were going to make their own schedule.