[VIDEO] John Oliver Covers Inter-Korean Tensions, K-pop on ‘Last Week Tonight’

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

John Oliver opened Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight with some witty remarks on North and South Korea’s tense standoff.

“We begin in North Korea—named best Korea for 70 years running by North Korea Magazine,” Oliver quipped before showing a clip of CNN reporting on inter-Korean tensions. (Note: CNN mistakenly used photos of the South Korean army while reporting about North Korea’s military actions.)

Earlier this month, two South Korean soldiers were maimed after triggering mines along the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone. The United Nations and the South Korean Defense Ministry claimed that North Korean soldiers had planted three land mines near South Korean military guard posts.

In response, Seoul resumed anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts for the first time in 11 years. The move infuriated Pyongyang, leading the capital to declare a “quasi state of war” last week. After 40-plus-hours of talks, South Korea agreed on Tuesday to halt its loudspeaker broadcasts in exchange for an apology from the North.

“Look, North Korea. If your neighbor is blasting horrible noise at all hours of the day, you do not retaliate with war. You wait until the next morning and leave a passive aggressive note,” Oliver joked. “There is an etiquette for how we handle this stuff.”

The host also poked fun at how South Korea was blasting K-pop songs in addition to criticism about Kim Jong-un’s regime.

“Now, they haven’t said exactly what music they’ve been playing, but I hope it’s some of the better K-pop stuff,” Oliver said before listing Neon Bunny, Uhm Jung-hwa, Jo Sung-mo and the original five-member band TVXQ as some of his favorites.


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