An Australian daily newspaper has rebranded North and South Korea as "Naughty Korea" and "Nice Korea" in their standing medal count, drawing split social media responses with some on Twitter lauding the idea as comic genius and others insisting that it is tantamount to racism.
As noted by the Trending Now blog on the UK edition of MSN.com, the Australian free daily, The Mx, also referred to as the Brisbane Metro, published a medal count that included North Korea as "Naughty Korea" and South Korea as "Nice Korea" in Wednesday's edition. At the time, the two nations were right next to each other in the medal count, making the contrast between their names visible and notable.
A day later, an image of that medal count began circulating around the Internet and caught fire on Twitter, where everyone seemed to have an opinion on whether it was a brilliantly funny idea or a potential diplomatic disaster.
Twitter user @leighb83 spoke in place of the "potential diplomatic disaster" crew:
Yeah calling N & S Korea, Naughty Korea and Nice Korea is fine. As long as its fine for them to refer to us as the Dumb, Drunk, Racists.
Meanwhile, user @Sulalee1 focused on the humor in the paper's classification of the Asian nations, while @Louiestowell toed the line, acknowledging both the humor in the names and how North Korea might react.
I love Australians for their directness. And now I love them even more.
Inspired! And asking for a bomb in between the eyes ...
There's no word on whether the paper will continue to call the nations by their tongue-in-cheek moniker or return to their proper names, or whether North Korea was actually offended by the name itself.
Meanwhile, an Australian bank that is an official Olympic sponsor also found itself in hot water after posting an online video that made light of a potential bomb threat at an Olympic facility. The ad for Commonwealth Bank, which featured men wearing suits shaped like the letters C, A, N and T, focused on the bank's slogan of only thinking it can, with the first three letters telling a policeman that the fourth, the T, was carrying a ticking backpack.
General outrage followed and the ad was quickly pulled, with Commonwealth Bank offering an official apology just hours later. So far, The Mx has remained quiet, so we may all be in for at least a few more editions of "Naughty" and "Nice" Korea.