South Korea’s culture minister, Yu In-chon, strode into a government briefing room Monday for what seemed to be a routine photo-op as his ministry announced a $50 million program to help develop the country’s budding electronic-books industry.
But trouble came when Mr. Yu pulled out an Apple iPad, held it up and remarked about how nicely it displays electronic books. The problem is, South Korea’s communications regulators haven’t approved the device for wireless networking in the country.
Tech-industry bloggers pounced on Mr. Yu, criticizing him for using a device that isn’t even available in South Korea yet.
The ministry later issued a statement saying the minister chose the iPad to “maximize his presentation” because of its large screen. It said it borrowed the iPad from a book distribution company, and that the company had bought the device in the U.S. as part of its research effort to develop e-book software.