The Korean War differs from most historical wars in that it never actually ended. Oh, sure, the Koreas stopped exploding each other by the millions once Ike finally got fed up and brandished his considerable nukes at them, but the armistice that established the DMZ and "ended" the war was intended as a temporary measure until a peace treaty could be established.
Now, more than 60 years later, said peace treaty is still about as likely to happen as the final volume of George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire. That's a long damned time for North and South Korea to think up less deadly but far more insane ways to fuck with one another, such as ...
6"Anything The Other Korea Can Do, We Can Do Bigger"
Smack dab in the heart of the Korean DMZ lies the Joint Security Area, a neutral zone where North and South Korean representatives can meet face-to-face with only minimal fear of being shot in said faces. It's meant to be a safe space where the two sides can speak on peaceful terms, as equals. And so, naturally, they use it to host preposterous dick-measuring contests.
For example: During the negotiations leading up to the armistice, which took place in a conference room literally divided by the border between the two countries, each day started with the participants lugging in larger flags: One day the North brought a large flag. The next day the South brought a huge flag. Then the North brought a giant flag, the South brought a ginormous flag, and so on and so forth until the soldiers hauling the things through the doorway looked as if they'd been tasked with returning the Jolly Green Giant's boxers to Walmart.
At that point they decided the whole thing was absurd. What really matters, after all, is who has the bigger pole.
United Nations Command
Above: A literal pole-measuring contest.
So, in the decades following the armistice, each side began erecting ever-bigger flagpoles for their ever-bigger flags. When North Korea tipped the scale with a 525-foot, world-record-breaking flagpole to hoist their 600-pound flag in the 1980s, that's when South Korea finally conceded that, you know what, maybe North Korea just wants this one more.
But wait, it gets bigger! When Seoul won the bid for the 1988 Olympics, it was obviously an unspoken challenge for North Korea to one-up their asses. Of course, they couldn't get a better sporting event (it's not like there's an Olympic-er Olympics) ... but they could take Seoul's Olympic Stadium and do it bigger.
And also curvier.
The Rungrado 1st Of May Stadium, completed in 1989, again set a world record with its capacity for 150,000 spectators. It seems utterly pointless (What are 150,000 North Koreans going to gather to do? Have a starving contest?), but it has its uses -- such as the Arirang Mass Games, an annual, mind-bogglingly massive gymnastics festival.
"To spread the propaganda, you must be the propaganda."
Oh, and then there's the time they used the stadium to publicly burn traitors alive. You know, in case you forgot somewhere in the midst of that flag-waving story that North Korea is fucking horrible.
5The Battle Of The Balloons
During the Korean War, U.N. forces dropped more than 2.5 billion propaganda leaflets on North Korea, because the Korean War was really a war against trees. All environmental concerns aside, it's a tactic that the Korean people really took to heart, because they seemingly never miss an opportunity to bombard the other side with all manner of antagonistic crap.
Choco Pies, for example:
Guys, you're taking "moon pies" way too literally.
To explain why a storm of chocolaty treats would get all up in Kim Jong Un's craw, we need to rewind a bit. See, Choco Pies were once handed out as bonuses to North Korean workers manning South Korean factories. The treats became so popular with the impoverished Northerners that they transformed into an ersatz currency, to the tune of more than 2.5 million of the valuable confections being traded each month. This, of course, did not sit well with the regime, and they quickly quashed the market by producing their own, shittier Choco Pies and banning the authentic ones.
South Korean protesters responded in the only rational way: They loaded up gigantic helium balloons with 10,000 Choco Pies and floated them across the border. Kim Jong Un predictably threw a fit, threatening to shell the launch sites before going full-on Cookie Monster on every last Choco Pie, probably.
Now, what does chocolate inevitably lead to? Sex! And, at least according to North Korean strategic documents, that's another thing South Korea has been dropping all over them.
Of course, after a decades-long strained relationship, dropping the sex
really shouldn't have come as a surprise.
The finest victory in the Great Porno Bombardment Campaign came when someone in South Korea "discovered" a porn video purportedly starring Kim Jong Un's wife, Ri Sol Ju.
Above: Ri Sol Ju
Above: Also Ri Sol Ju (allegedly)
South Korean conservative groups wasted no time printing up scads of stills from the video, loading them onto balloons, and altruistically blowing them northward with the enthusiasm of a bunch of kindergartners with bubble wands. Because, in the true spirit of communism, shouldn't the people share in every pleasure the supreme leader enjoys in private?
The North responded to this relentless rain of smut with literal smut. They launched southbound balloons of their own, loaded with cigarette butts, used toilet paper, and -- just to bring this whole story full circle -- hundreds of thousands of leaflets dubbing South Korea the "Republic Of Garbage."
"They say, 'Here's some garbage for your stupid garbage country.' Also, 'Your mom.'"
South Korean officials freaked right out -- their adversary couldn't possibly be so childish as to actually drop garbage on them! -- and assumed it was some sort of biochemical attack. Testing of the trash, however, revealed that it was zero percent chemical death and 100 percent undiluted assholery.