Unless some groundbreaking events in global diplomacy just went down, I’m pretty sure North Korea is still North Korea and South Korea is South Korea with the 38th parallel still firmly separating the two. For whatever reason, Australian daily newspaper, The Mx, doesn’t agree. They branded the two Koreas as “Naughty” and “Nice” in a printed medal count on Wednesday. Betcha can’t guess which is which (jk, you totally can).
This clearly toes the line of journalism ethics — you would have a hard time finding another newspaper that isn’t this one or The Onion who would pull such a stunt. It isn’t however, as terrible as a lot of people (on Twitter) think it is. It’s a gaffe, sure, but it’s really more of an encapsulation of how the average citizen of the global community characterizes the two Koreas.
Watching North Korean athletes compete in the Olympics incites all sorts of inner melancholia from viewers around the world: Do they really get physically punished if they don’t win? Should I start rooting for them? What is this athlete’s life like back home? Is there more to North Korea than severe human rights violations, threats of nuclear war, starvation and an overall terrible quality of life for its average citizen?
The Mx said out loud what many of us coyly think: North Korea is the naughty Korea. NoKo is modern day totalitarianism and sometimes it’s just plain weird watching their athletes compete, wondering what kind of hell they might return to after the Games. This isn’t to say their athletes are bad people, only that the nation from which they hail is an enigmatic mess. South Korea on the other hand is a democracy, among the world’s 20 largest economies, boasts an above average quality of life for its citizens and is by all definitions of the word, nice.
Still, I probably wouldn’t go publishing which Korea Santa Claus is going to grace with gifts and which he’s going to hand a lump of coal.
[h/t Barstool Sports]