Former journalist Joshua Cooper Ramo, working as an analyst for NBC, said on-air during the Pyeongchang Games opening ceremony that all Koreans recognized that Japan had served as an important example in South Korea's own economic transformation.
It wasn't so much the hosts, Katie Couric and Mike Tirico, who annoyed critics, but rather the network's analyst, Joshua Cooper Ramo.
"Hey NBC, you forgot the Olympics were in Korea?" wrote a South Korean Twitter user. "We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize", NBCSN was quoted as saying. Do you thank Japan for the Pearl Harbor raids?
Some say it's questionable whether Ramo has been even following the news leading up to the current Olympics, as some of the disputes between South Korea and Japan erupted even during the preparation phase of the games.
One of these has been caused by Japan's refusal to negotiate South Korea's demands that it apologise or pay reparations for mistreatment of World War Two comfort women from Korea - women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in occupied territories.
South Korean Olympic figure skating champion Yuna Kim, right, takes the torch from North Korea's Jong Su Hyon, left, and South Korea's Park Jong-ah during the opening ceremony..
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South Korea's Foreign Ministry eventually chose to remove the disputed islets from the flag, after the Japanese government strongly protested, calling the original flag "extremely regrettable" and "unacceptable".
Ramo has yet to apologize for his remark.
The network responded quickly after the backlash, announcing Ramo's assignment with the Olympics is now over, and NBC offered an apology both in writing and during the broadcast.
As Japan entered PyeongChang Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony on Friday, Ramo said "every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation".
USA broadcaster NBC apologized to South Korea's winter Games organizing committee on Sunday after a commentator offended locals during coverage of the opening ceremony by straying into the sensitive issue of Japan-South Korean relations.
NBC said in a statement Sunday it was gratified that local Olympic officials accepted the apology.