South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said the presentation of a designer bag to the first lady was a "political maneuver,” trying to stem public anger over the incident that has hit voter sentiment.

"It’s a plot,” Yoon said in the interview conducted over the weekend and broadcast nationally on Wednesday by KBS. He indicated the incident may have taken place to sway public opinion.

Opposition lawmakers have said the first lady acted inappropriately and have called for an investigation.