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Bill Gates has managed to offend the whole of South Korea after brazenly breaking the country's strict but unwritten handshake rules.

He greeted female President Geun Hye Park with the customary one-handed palm press, but neglected to remove his other hand from his trouser pocket.

Using one mitt with the other stuffed in a pocket is considered extremely rude in Korea. It is a manoeuvre only carried out when someone feels superior to whoever they are greeting.

South Korean newspapers and television stations have examined the incident in great detail, even digging up old photographs which appear to show Gates greeting other Presidents and even a school kid with a civilised, two-handed shake.

“Perhaps it was his all-American style but an open jacket with [one] hand in pocket? That was way too casual. It was very regretful,” said Chung Jin-suk, secretary general at the Korean National Assembly.

The 67 billion dollar man has not yet spoken out about the incident. Other photos have emerged that show Gates has something of a pocket fetish and loves walking, talking and meeting Bono with one paw inside his pants.

The South Korean President herself appears to have forgiven Gates. Her office released a statement which said:

“Bill Gates took a similar pose for a picture when he met former President Lee Myung-bak five years ago. Just think of it as an American style of greeting.” ®

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