Chinese Presidential Bodyguards Beat Up Korean Reporters, 2 In Hospital

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.

Further protest from the reporter from Maeil Business was met with further violence: he was dragged out to the hallway by around 10 bodyguards, beaten, and kicked in the face.

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.”

— @jsaclova

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.”

— @siahn1011

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.