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China: South Korea regrets laser pointer aimed at Chinese Premier by SK athlete

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had a laser pointer shined on his face during the August 28 2014 closing ceremony of the Youth Olympics in Nanjing. A South Korean athlete was blamed for the incident, which occurred as Li was waving to the crowd and was taking his seat in front of 60,000 spectators.

China premier laser pointer on face
“Internet photo” from Want China Times showing Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, with green laser light on his face.

The South Korean embassy in Beijing issued a statement saying “It’s extremely improper and regrettable to shine a laser pointer on state leader. This should not have happened.”

According to the statement, the embassy was investigating in order to “confirm facts.”

Want China Times reported that the same laser was also pointed at the president of the International Olympic Committee and at some flag bearers and performers during the closing ceremony. The culprit may have been identified by a Chinese person attending, who took a photo of a “young man with a mushroom haircut sitting in section 28-29 of the stands” and contacted police.

Laser South Korea on China premier persp corrected
Caption from Sina Wiebo: “A photo shared by a Sina Weibo user shows a South Korean athlete shining a laser pen during the closing ceremony of the Nanjing Youth Olympics where Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was also present.” It is not known if this is the photo shared with police as described above. (Perspective of the original photo corrected by LaserPointerSafety.com)

In China, the terms “Li Keqiang” and “laser pointer” were censored on social media, causing “confusion," according to Want China Times.

From Ecns.cn, Want China Times, and ChinaSmack. According to ChinaSmack, Sina Weibo published an account of the incident which was later deleted. Below is ChinaSmack’s English translation of the Sina Weibo account:

On-Site Witness Relates Youth Olympic Games Laser Pointer Incident

The incident: during the closing ceremony of the Nanjing Youth Olympics there was a shameful incident. The Chinese Premier, President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, flag bearers and performers were all flashed in the eyes with a laser pointer.

It was raining today and the armed police had been standing guard for over 2 hours. Many of the performers had to perform in the rain, and many of the security guards worked from 4 am until 12 am. Everyone was busy to bring the Olympics to a close and we did it! We successfully held the 2nd Youth Olympics.

But there was a unharmonious episode. Director Li Weiya had asked again and again for the audience to not point laser pointers at the stage because it can impact the live broadcast and cause problems for the large performance, but there was one genius who shined a laser at the Chinese Premier during his entrance, causing malicious trouble.

I initially did not want to expose this, but he kept doing this over and over again that I can no longer tolerate it. He pointed the laser at the Premier, President Bach, and the eyes of the flag bearers and performers. What reason could there be left to forgive/overlook this?

I tried to use my camera to pinpoint his location but my resolution was too low and since he was in the international athlete section, not having clear evidence would just cause further problems, and it isn’t as you can search each perso one by one. It was this moment that a photographer showed me a high resolution photo that he had taken from a high resolution camera. This photographer friend had had enough of it long ago, and instead of photographing the performance, he had waited to capture [the culprit] in the act. He kindly lent us his phone with the photo, and we took the phone to the police and then on to section 28-29.

At the gate, I stopped a Korean person who looked a lot like the guy in the picture. “the man is you?” “no no”. So we looked one by one, but because Koreans all look alike, we had to look for the girl that sat in front of him in the picture before we found him and I showed the photos to his coach.

[...] Those who harm national interests should be punished. Germans who have broken the law in China have even gotten the death sentence, in accordance to our laws! As for what the volunteer said, our nation’s image was harmed, and while the perpetrator may not be of age, are those grey-haired adults around him also underage? Is constantly allowing unscrupulous behavior going to show others how tolerant China is? No! It will only lead to foreigners looking down on us! Originally, he was to be kicked out, but after the volunteer’s repeated entreatries, this wasn’t done. I’m not trying to hurt the friendship between China and Korea. From EXO incident at the Nanjing airport up until now, I haven’t made any comments. I just want everyone to stand for ourselves when our nation’s interests are harmed by others, to unite and work together, protecting our national interests, even if they are minor issues. Some of this is revealing private/personal information, but I believe it should be made known to everyone, and I’m not afraid of being punished for it. China must rise up! Jia you! Our nation’s economy is currently moving forward at a rapid pace, we have a stable social environment, and a quality of life that is improving by the day. I hope we will focus more on our classical and traditional culture, rather than the worthless things of certain countries. You know what I’m talking about! China and Korea needs to, must work together, as we have shared political and economic interests!