"As a president, I did not want to miss this golden opportunity," he said of the trade agreement with Washington.
Mr Lee said he had realised his mistake while watching lines of candles filling city streets after dark during one of the protests.
He said he would ensure no US beef from cattle more than 30 months old would reach South Korean plates - a voluntary additional guarantee which Seoul's top trade official is currently attempting to secure in Washington.
Older beef is thought to be at greater risk of BSE.
So will this mean no more protests? Or that the issue is resolved, my guessing is probably not. I also wonder if those who were against the beef thing, find this apology sincere or not.
Anyways, just a short post...don't want to delve into it too much.