North Korea's state news agency has accused Australian commuter newspaper mX of "bullying" after the country was dubbed "Naughty Korea" in a recent Olympic medal tally.
While North Korea was given the "naughty" title, its democratic neighbour of South Korea was referred to as "Nice Korea" in the medal tally printed by the Brisbane edition of the newspaper, news.com.au reports.
The country issued a statement last night via the Korean Central News Agency labelling the newspaper's actions as "foolish" and "degrading" — despite incorrectly identifying the paper as the Brisbane Metro.
"This is a bullying act little short of insulting the Olympic spirit," the statement read.
mX is printing the statement in this afternoon's paper, along with statements from the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane editors, Claire Sutherland, Craig Herbet and Emma Chalmers respectively.
"The two teams (South Korea and North Korea) were sitting in fourth and fifth spot respectively on the medal ladder and 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.
"The mX tally received an enormous response online throughout the world and the overwhelming majority of readers and the social and print media community saw it for what was intended — nothing more than a bit of light-heartedness."
South Korea remains in fourth place on the medal tally, but its northern neighbour has dropped to 14th place after a strong start.