North Korea: Not Your Quirky, Lovable, Wacky Rogue State

I’m going to take a break from soccer-blogging to talk about North Korea a second. This isn’t a slam on the players, who showed a magnificent amount of heart today in losing to Brazil, the world’s top-ranked side, 2-1. 

No, what I’m criticizing is stuff like this:

Or this:

Or even this:

Look, I know that it’s the hip thing to do to roll your eyes and mock North Korean propaganda, or make mock-serious pronouncements about life or death. I get it. It’s one of the ways that we have of dealing with raw, unadulterated evil. 

Because, like it or not, bombastic proclamations of national greatness aside, that’s what we’re dealing with when it comes to North Korea: evil embodied by a state government.

And this is what it looks like:

(image courtesy ScrapeTV)

(image courtesy Daily Mail)

And it’s reflected in headlines like this:

That’s North Korea for you – definitely not your quirky, lovable, quaint Ruritanian throwback state. 

So, when you make light of North Korea, remember that that’s what you’re mocking. After having lived a year in South Korea, I can’t join in the mockery – if only because it’s a giant humanitarian disaster waiting to happen.

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