1. They blew a good marketing opportunity. If I didn’t fear deportation for checking their Twitter account, I’m assuming I’d find something like 3,000 new followers. They could’ve raised their Klout score, too, by at least 50 points! All eyes northbound, and what do they do? Sponsorship opportunities? Business affiliations? Networked on LinkedIn? No! Nothing! They could have asked for anything, and instead did absolutely nothing. Way to go, fellas. Fail.
2. They gave unknown wannabe-journalists like me some international attention. Seriously, bloggers and journos across the peninsula ought to be quietly thanking Kim Jong-un right now. Thanks to him, every crappy diarist, half-wit writer and e-book self-publisher found this sudden spotlight of validity thrust upon them. I myself had the chance to tell the few thousand Nova Scotians who tune into CBC Radio that life is great and nothing’s wrong. (And this was news to them!) Haps published a clever piece on why the attention was falsely guided, along with hundreds of other media outlets; the irony is that we all cashed in on the extra website traffic by precisely telling people they needn’t bother reading about the subject in the first place.
3. They weeded a few crappy English teachers. One hears shockingly true (but thankfully few) stories of South Korean schoolteachers who walked into work one day to a cold and dark classroom, receiving only a brief text to the effect of North Korea scares me and I’m moving back to America. Yes, NK instructed us all to flee last week, and some actually listened. I guess all this suspenseful normalcy finally cracked their nerves.
4. They gave Cyprus a break. Up until Kim waved his arms around like a petulant child, Cyprus dominated the World News sections of most newspapers by having lent loads of cash to Greece that Greece basically couldn’t pay back, which resulted in every Cypriot (coolest national demonym?) withdrawing all their cash from banks, in turn causing Cypriot banks to fail and the Eurozone swooping in to save them from imminent poverty. But who cares about all that confusing bank stuff, right? IMMINENT NUCLEAR WAR is a much catchier headline.
5. They gave Park Geun-hye a prime chance to look committed to something. Which she only sort of did, mostly by telling everyone to calm down. A disappointingly tame first encounter for both new Korean leaders, like anticipating a dogfight and realizing they’re both puppies. (Except one puppy is much louder and brandishing a nuclear collar.)
6. They shone a limelight on the Korean peninsula just in time for the release of PSY’s latest music video. Good timing! Does that mean we can get back to what Koreans actually care about?