The Aussies may have lost their gold-medal-winning instincts, but their sense of humour remains well and truly intact.

At the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games, the Melbourne commuter freesheet mX playfully listed South and North Korea as “Nice” and “Naughty” Korea respectively in the medal table.

Not surprisingly, this went down extremely badly in the hard-line communist country and Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) launched a blistering counter-attack.

medal table

mX's medal table was perceived as naughty by North Korea

It accused mX of “sordid behaviour” and produced a quite astonishing 14-page statement denouncing the paper.

The statement said: “This is a bullying act little short of insulting the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and progress and politicising sports.

"Media are obliged to lead the public in today's highly-civilised world where the mental and cultural level of mankind is being displayed at the highest level.

"The paper behaved so foolish [sic] as to use the London Olympics, that has caught the world interest, for degrading itself … Editors were so incompetent as to tarnish the reputation of the paper."

In response, mX released a statement defending the table as “humorous” and “harmless”.

It also produced a front page with the headline “"Pyongyang goes ballistic over mX tally".

Then, when North Korean officials described mX as “the naughty paper”, it merely embraced the idea and began sending tweets appended with the hashtag “naughtymx”.

Meanwhile, as much of North Korea languishes in abject poverty, Ri Sol-Ju, the wife of leader Kim Jong-U, has been pictured on official engagements with a Christian Dior handbag worth £1,000 – roughly the average annual income of a North Korean worker.

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