In a statement read on-air by the NBC anchor Carolyn Manno on Saturday, NBC said: “We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize.”
A statement issued on Sunday from NBC Sports said: “We apologized quickly both in writing and on television for a remark made by one of our presenters during Friday night’s Opening Ceremony.”
“We’re very gratified that POCOG has accepted that apology,” the statement added, referring to the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Critics also seized on other remarks made during the broadcast by Mr. Ramo, who shared in both Peabody and Emmy Awards for his work for NBC during the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
Maureen Ryan, Variety’s chief television critic, wrote in a review of NBC’s broadcast of the Olympic opening ceremony that “Ramo’s endless generalities about what constituted ‘Asian’ culture felt about as deep as a Wikipedia entry.”
In addition to his role as an occasional Olympic commentator at NBC, Mr. Ramo is also co-chief executive of Kissinger Associates, an advisory firm founded by Henry A. Kissinger, the former secretary of state, and sits on the board of directors for Starbucks and FedEx.
Mr. Ramo’s remarks appeared to reinforce growing concerns among some South Koreans that the United States was favoring its partnership with Japan over that of its other longtime ally in the region, South Korea.
“You might think that Americans would be antagonistic toward Japan because it bombed Pearl Harbor,” said one Korean-language user on Twitter, who used the pseudonym James Bond. “But in reality, that’s not the case. Korea as the U.S. understands it is just a small appendage attached to eastern China.”