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N. Korea fires at Australian paper's 'naughty' medal tally joke
SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Wednesday chastised an Australian newspaper that jokingly named the communist state as "Naughty Korea" in its London Olympics medal standing, calling it a "rogue paper" that hampered the Olympic spirit.

   The rare response came after the Brisbane Metro, a regional paper based in eastern Australia, labeled the North as such while describing the rival South as "Nice Korea" in its Olympic medal table.

   "This is a bullying act little short of insulting the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and progress, and politicizing sports," the North's Korean Central News Agency said in an English dispatch.

   The KCNA went on to say that the "naughty paper" will remain as "a symbol of a rogue paper" for its "misdeed to be cursed long in Olympic history."

   "Even hostile forces toward the DPRK heaped praises on its players' successful performance at the London Olympics, saying that 'Korea whirlwind' sweeps the world," the state news agency said. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

   "In a word, the paper discredited itself," it said. "How pitiful it is."

   At the London Olympics, South Korea has 245 athletes competing in 22 sports, while North Korea has 56 in 11 sports. As of Wednesday, South Korea ranked fourth in the gold medal tally with 12, and North Korea, powered by weightlifters, was 14th with four gold medals.

   North Korea's record for the most gold medals at a single Olympics is four at Barcelona in 1992.