South Korean rapper Psy said he will "forever be sorry" for participating in anti-American performances years before becoming a YouTube sensation.
News reports of the performances surfaced in America just as the "Gangnam Style" rapper prepares to perform at the annual "Christmas in Washington" concert, this Sunday at the National Building Museum. The Obama family is scheduled to attend the performance.
A petition asking President Obama to rescind Psy's invitation to the event has been deleted from the White House website and replaced with a message saying the petition violated the site's terms of participation.
The rapper participated in two performances protesting the U.S. military presence in South Korea. In 2002, he smashed a model U.S. tank against a stage. In 2004, he joined a performance of a song with the lyrics "Kill those —— Yankees." The Post's WorldViews blog explains the political situation in South Korea that preceded the widespread protests.
Here's the statement Psy issued to MTV News:
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 innocent Korean civilians 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.