Psy 'Forever Sorry' for Anti-US Song

ABC News
Psy 'Forever Sorry' for Anti-US Song
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Psy 'Forever Sorry' for Anti-US Song (ABC News)

Psy, the South Korean rapper famous for " Gangnam Style," apologized today for a 2004 performance in which he said American soldiers should be killed "slowly and painfully."

The apology comes two days before he is scheduled to perform at a holiday concert that will be attended by President Obama and his family. TNT, the organizer of the concert, told ABC News that Psy will perform on Sunday as planned.

A White House official confirmed to ABC News that the Obama family will attend the Dec. 9 taping of "Christmas in Washington," as is custom. The annual charity function benefits the National Children's Medical Center and the entertainment is not chosen by the White House. It will be broadcast on TNT Dec. 21.

Psy said today that he will "forever be sorry for any pain I have caused" by what he sang at a Seoul concert that took place during the Iraq war:

Kill those f**king Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives Kill those f**king Yankees who ordered them to torture Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers Kill them all slowly and painfully

The concert was held on the heels of the decapitation of a Korean missionary by Islamic militants in Iraq, which fueled anti-U.S. military sentiment in South Korea. In 2002, an American military vehicle struck and killed two 13-year-old Korean girls. The soldiers involved in the incident were later acquitted of negligent homicide.

Here's the apology Psy released through his publicist, in full:

"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 Korean schoolgirls 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."

Obama is familiar with Psy's "Gangnam Style," which broke the record for the most watched YouTube video in history in November.

On election day, he told New Hampshire radio station WZID-FM that he's pretty sure he can do "Gangnam Style's" horse galloping dance. "I just saw that video for the first time, I think I can do that move," he said, when asked about the song. Asked if he'd do it if reelected, he said, "I'm not sure that the inauguration ball is the appropriate time to break that out." "Maybe," he added, "[I'd] do it privately for Michelle."

ABC News' Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.

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