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South Korean paper apologizes for Moscow terror attack cartoon

Russia’s embassy in Seoul had denounced the sketch in the Korea Herald as a vile and offensive joke

The Korea Herald newspaper has issued an apology for publishing a cartoon mocking the victims of last week’s terrorist attack at the Crocus City Concert Hall that killed more than 140 people. The apology by the South Korea-based English-language newspaper was shared on Friday by Russia’s embassy in Seoul, which had earlier voiced outraged over the sketch.  

The Korea Herald expressed “deep condolences” to the victims of the shooting, adding that it “shares the unfathomable sadness” of the people affected by the tragedy.  

“As such, we deeply regret the publishing of a syndicated cartoon in the March 27 edition. We regret the oversight and recognize and respect the genuine feelings of all those who have been offended,” the paper stated, adding that it acknowledges that its materials must meet “standards of common decency.”  

This came after Moscow’s embassy lashed out at newspaper on Thursday for what it called a “blasphemous cartoon of the terrorist attack in Russia,” saying the appalling piece insulted the memory of the victims.  

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FILE PHOTO: The burnt-out Crocus City Hall venue following a deadly terrorist attack.
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The embassy also wondered whether the paper was inclined to mock tragedies in other countries, or whether “such vile jokes [were] reserved only for Russia and its citizens, to whom their authors and those circulating such slander apparently do not extend the standards of the human society.”  

It further stressed it was sure that this “cynical act equally offends the sentiments of South Korean citizens” sharing the grief of the Russian people.   

The Crocus City Hall attack occurred last Friday when a group of gunmen armed with automatic weapons stormed the popular venue ahead of a rock concert, shooting indiscriminately at people and setting the place on fire. The act of terrorism, the worst in Russia since the early 2000s, has so far claimed 144 lives, with nearly 200 injured. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the suspects – whom he described as radical Islamists – were caught while fleeing toward Ukraine, where he said certain arrangements had been made to help them cross the border.  

Despite tense relations between Russia and the West over the Ukraine conflict, the attack has sparked universal condemnation and a wave of condolences. People across the world flocked to local Russian diplomatic missions with wreaths and flowers to honor the memory of the victims, with South Korea being no exception.

March 29, 2024 at 08:30PM

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