'Naughty Korea' Upset With Australian Paper's Comments
North Korea has attacked an Australian newspaper for "bullying" after it called the country "Naughty Korea" in an Olympics medal table, according to David Hills of the London GUARDIAN. The Melbourne commuter daily mX also described South Korea as "Nice Korea" last week, prompting Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency to accuse it of "sordid behaviour." The agency's statement read: "This is a bullying act little short of insulting the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and progress and politicising sports" (GUARDIAN, 8/8). A joint statement from Sydney mX Editor Craig Herbert, Brisbane mX Editor Emma Chalmers and Melbourne mX Editor Claire Sutherland said: "mX is widely known for its irreverent take on the news and the London 2012 Olympics are being approached with that perspective in mind… we thought it would be a humorous, but harmless way of differentiating between the two, and a reflection on how much of the western world views the two countries. It was in no way intended to offend the athletes or citizens of either South Korea or North Korea" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/8).
TENSIONS HIGH: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Alastair Gale of the Korea Real Time blog wrote North Korea gets referred to in "less-than-glowing terms on a regular basis, and for good reason," including "state sponsor of terrorism, human rights abuser, nuclear weapons proliferator." North Korea occasionally hits out at foreign media, "but it's strange for KCNA to take aim at an obviously humorous reference to the country," which "makes me wonder if they've seen the parody of Kim Jong-il in the movie 'Team America: World Police.'" Adding to the debacle, KCNA itself misidentified the newspaper that published the table, consistently calling the paper "Brisbane Metro." The reference "appears to have originated from a tweet about the news, suggesting KCNA's editors are monitoring coverage on social media" (WSJ, 8/8). The AP noted "tensions have been high on the Korean Peninsula" since North Korea launched a rocket in April that the U.N. called a cover for a banned long-range missile test. North Korea claimed it was trying to put a satellite into orbit. North Korea has "since threatened to attack Seoul over perceived insults" (AP, 8/8).
PICKING FIGHTS: MARKETING MAGAZINE's Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith reported Olympic sponsors BP and EDF "have been targeted by a spoof newspaper" distributed in East London that was produced by an alliance of pressure groups to highlight alleged social and environmental failings of six commercial partners of the London Games. Dow, adidas, Rio Tinto and G4S also feature in the London Late (intended to resemble defunct freesheet London Lite). Of the 10,000 copies printed, only 1,000 were handed out at locations including Old Street and Liverpool Street. One of the distributors was spotted wearing a mask resembling LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 8/8). The AP reported Indian newspapers and commentators have "heavily criticised the country's men's hockey team after it lost five consecutive matches" at the Games -- including a 3-0 defeat to Belgium in its last game. The Hindustan Times read: "A new low for Indian hockey: Played 5, lost 5," while the headline on its match report read: "National game now a national shame!" Other newspapers and TV networks were "also highly critical of the national team" (AP, 8/8).