The purpose of this paper is to analyze the apology strategies used by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during the U.S. beef import negotiation upheaval in South Korea in 2008 and to investigate how these apologies were perceived by the South Korean public. The role of party identification as an audience-related variable in the perception of political apologies in the South Korean context was also examined. A content analysis of President Lee’s speeches and related daily newspaper coverage was conducted to identify the main apology strategies employed by the president and conveyed to the public through the media during the crisis. Experimental work was then carried out to examine the level of acceptance of these strategies, with further research evaluating the effect of party identification on the overall results. According to the results of the experimental work, President Lee’s apology strategies were generally ineffective, with the exception of the clear corrective action strategy. in addition the impact of party identification on the level of acceptance of the major apology strategies was confirmed.
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