South Korea’s MZ Generation ‘freaks out’ over North Korean athletes’ manners at Asian Games
North Korea’s Kim Kum Yong avoids shaking hands with South Korea’s Jang Woo Jin before the table tennis mixed doubles round of 16 match between South Korea and North Korea at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Gungsu Canal Sports Park in Hangzhou, China, on March 28. Photo.
“North Korea (players), what’s wrong?”
This was the reaction of the MZ generation in South Korea as they watched North Korean athletes compete at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
The Asian Games marked North Korea’s first appearance on the international sports stage in five years, but the country was still viewed as an object of disconnection and isolation.
In an international showcase of peace and harmony in the midst of goodwill sports competition, North Korean athletes were aloof.
The men’s 73-kilogram judo round of 16 featured an inter-Korean showdown between South Korea’s Kang Heon Chol (27-Yongin City Hall) and North Korea’s Kim Chol Kwang (27).
The tense match ended with a deflection by Kim Chol Kwang. 먹튀검증
Kang swallowed the pain of defeat and approached Kim with his hand outstretched, but Kim refused to shake it and walked off the court.
In judo, where courtesy is highly valued, it is rare to see a loser refuse to shake hands with a winner.
To make matters worse, Kim Chul-kwang is a familiar foe, having competed on a single team with South Korean athletes at the 2018 World Championships.
Even in the medal ceremony (shooting), which is supposed to be an emotional event, there were some ugly moments. The North Korean athletes, who received their medals with somber faces, looked away from the flag as it was raised and the national anthem was played. It’s bad manners at any award ceremony.
The bad behavior continued during podium photos. Usually at international competitions, medalists stand side by side at the top of the podium, shoulder to shoulder, encouraging each other for a group photo.
On this day, the Indonesian athletes who won the bronze medal came up to the podium for a group photo at the suggestion of the South Korean athletes, but the North Korean athletes turned away without even looking at them.
In men’s soccer, North Korean players made threats to referees and opposing staff. During the quarterfinal match against Japan, North Korean players who were unhappy with the referee’s decision to award a penalty kick physically pushed the referee and shouted harsh words and threats.
North Korean coaches stopped the players.
Earlier, one player had been warned for threatening a Japanese medic who had entered the field during a stoppage of play with his arm.
The Japan Football Association sent the video and a letter to FIFA, calling the North Korean players’ behavior “anti-sporting.
North Korea, which has been known to skip press conferences depending on its mood after a game, created an uncomfortable atmosphere at the ones it did attend.
In a press conference after the women’s basketball game between North and South Korea, a North Korean team official responded to a reporter’s use of the term “North Korea” by saying, “We are not North Korea. We are the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. At the Asian Games, all countries must be called correctly.”
A few days later, North Korea’s Korean Central Television reported on a North Korean goal in the women’s soccer quarterfinal match between South Korea and North Korea, referring to South Korea as “Goryeo” in the on-screen caption.
In weightlifting, a North Korean coach cheered on a South Korean athlete’s medal, and in table tennis, a group photo was taken with the bright and energetic Shin Yoo-bin, but overall, North Korea’s treatment of the South Korean athletes and their on-field behavior were enough to raise eyebrows.
Foreign media outlets called it “an insult to the South Korean athletes” and “a clear indication that the country is disconnected from the international community.”
While this may have been a reaction to the current government’s tougher policy toward North Korea, unlike the previous government, which had a single team, this kind of low-class behavior and stance in an international sporting arena where peace and harmony are sought will only further tarnish North Korea’s image.
There are many MZs who do not consider North Koreans as their own people.
Various polls have shown that there is a big difference in perception between the middle-aged and MZ generations on the need for reunification.
For the MA generation, North Korea is not just something that has nothing to do with us, but something to be wary of. Some even hate it.
North Korea’s image among South Korea’s MZ generation has worsened in the wake of its behavior at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
At the Asian Games, which is supposed to be a place of harmony and unity, North and South Korea were not able to come together.