North Korea the Red-Nosed Nation-State: Part I

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It was a special day at the North Pole.

Russia was ecstatic when her new baby boy was born with a red nose, for she knew the vibrant color derived from the boy’s fiery communist resolve.

“Look at him,” Russia said as she cradled her baby and stared in awe at the boy’s glowing snout. “Isn’t he beautiful, China?”

China took a sip of bourbon and flipped through the newspaper in his lap.”Sure.”

The trembling young country looked at his mother and then to China, big black eyes shining with innocence. “D… D…”

Russia gasped. “Look at you! Are you going to say your first word?”

The baby’s face wrinkled into a nasty look. “D…D… Duh… Die, Western dogs!”

Russia cried out, throwing her arms around her son as tears of joy pooled in the corners of her eyes.

20 Years Later

The world changed when Russia’s family fell apart, her illegally adopted children declaring independence and leaving the nest. The remaining communists fled the North Pole. They were never seen again.

As North Korea grew up, it became clear that the other countries avoided him. In the beginning, he might have known that it was because he was a communist and people just really hated communists. But eventually, he became convinced it was because his beliefs were so good and perfect and pure that the world was sick with fear and jealousy.

Of course, the only ones who believed this were him and Cuba.

At Santa’s Toy Factory

Cuba threw down the paintbrush and the toy soldier. “This is bullshit!” Everyone gasped and whipped their little elf heads in her direction. “Don’t you all see? We’re all just cogs in this dehumanizing, capitalist machine. The hours are long, the pay is bad, and our corporate pig of a boss profits from our labor while we scrape by!”

The elves began muttering and whispering among themselves, saying things like “Here she goes again!” or “Who let this joker back into the factory?”

Cuba continued. “And is no one else suspicious of the fact that only rich or well-off middle-class kids get presents from Santa?” She grabbed the toy phone to her side and yanked it to her ear. “Um, hello? Corporate North Pole? Do you realize your entire empire has been built on the backs of elf slave labor?”

“Jesus Christ, Cuba,” the elf next to her hissed.

One of the other elves across the table snickered. “If you hate this place so much, why don’t you move to the South Pole?” Everyone around him roared with laughter at the comedic genius of his joke.

“Shut up, Ted,” Cuba said. “Your mother regrets giving birth to you, did you know that? I’ve heard her say it before, behind the reindeer shed talking to her drug dealer when she doesn’t think anyone is listening. She tells him everything.”

Ted started crying. Cuba didn’t care. She grabbed a hammer from her toolbelt, threw it at the window, and leaped through the opening in the shattered glass to make the most dramatic exit possible.


Meanwhile, North Korea had been watching from afar the other countries practice for the World Games. After some time, he approached them and caught England and Poland gearing up for the skiing trail.

“Please let me join the World Games,” he pleaded.

“We’ve been over this before,” England said, testy as usual. “You can’t join any of our games unless you promise to stop developing weapons of mass destruction.”

“They aren’t WMDs,” North Korea insisted, “they’re malfunctioning toys that I’m repurposing for a higher calling.” At that moment, his nose started to glow and the other two had to look away.

Poland frowned. “Oh, North Korea. You should have abandoned socialism when you had the chance, like the rest of us.”

North Korea’s chest puffed out and his anger burned like the bright red of his resolute muzzle. “Do not lump me in with the rest of you pathetic cowards. Do you know why Russia’s family fell apart? Her ideology was bad. It wasn’t–” He stopped because he realized a crowd of countries had flocked around him, having followed the guiding light of his nose. They began taunting him.

“Hey loser, I heard you’ve had a hard time getting it up!”

“See what he did? That was a missile joke.”

“I bet your jets are just paper planes.”

“Tell Rodman I said hi.”

“How’s life been? I hear you can’t complain.”

“See what she did? That was an oppression joke.”

“Hey NK, have you seen the latest meme we’ve made about you? Oh wait, that’s right, you don’t have Internet.”

“Oh, oh, sing that ‘So Ronery’ song!”

“Sh-shut up!” North Korea tried to talk above them, but his voice was weaker than he would have liked. “I don’t care what anyone of you thinks of me!” His tears said otherwise. “I-I’ll be the one having the last laugh!” He ran off into the woods as the sounds of their heckling and insults faded behind him.

He hadn’t wandered long before he ran into Cuba, who was smoking by a Christmas tree and every so often stomping the snow. He wiped his eyes on his sleeve and, still in a tender mood, approached her cautiously. “Cuba? You shouldn’t smoke near trees. It’s dangerous.”

She jumped. “Oh, North Korea.” Upon seeing his puffy eyes, her brow furrowed. “What happened?”

“They wouldn’t let me join the World Games.” He blushed and looked down, jaw clenching for a second. “Then they started making fun of my… my, uh, my nose.”

“Those bastards.Their Western privilege has fooled them into thinking they are superior to us.”

North Korea hesitated a moment before saying, “I’m leaving this place.”

“Why? Is it because everyone fears you and therefore treats you like an outcast?”

“No,” North Korea said. “It’s because I f***ing hate everyone.”

“Then I’m coming with you,” she said.

“But, why?”

“Because I f***ing hate everyone too.”

And so they left together with only the coats on their backs.


Traversing the wild tundra was harder than they’d thought, especially because there was no reception so Google Maps didn’t work. Luckily, they stumbled upon a friendly face.

As they trudged through the thick snow, hunched over and hugging themselves against the cold, the faintest sound of jingle bells filled their red ears. The sound got louder and closer. They turned around to see a pack of Huskies approaching them at high speed. Whizzing through the snow behind the dogs was a woman on a sleigh, jing-jing-jingling all the way.

The sleigh pulled up beside them and the women, looking rather warm in her furry winter coat despite her wind-kissed skin, beamed at them. “Hi ya!”

North Korea stepped forward. “Um, I’m sorry but, who are you?”

“I’m Canada.”


“You know, maple leaves, ice hockey, Tim Horton’s.” North Korea and Cuba ooohed together.

“You mean Good America,” Cuba said.

“What? Good America? No! Look, America and I have fundamental differences. I’m a federal parliamentary representative democracy, and he’s a federal presidential constitutional republic. So it really makes no sense–“

North Korea said, “Nobody cares, Good America.”

“Can you help us out?” Cuba asked. “We ran away from home in an impulsive act of rebellion, and now we’re a little lost.”

“No problem! I know this tundra like the back of my hand, and my dogs always love company.”

But before North Korea and Cuba could hop on the sleigh, a mighty roar was heard close by. The earth started to shake. Something long and beaklike poked out from behind the mountains just behind them. It crept out slower and slower, and suddenly two hollow, sunken eyes and an ugly face emerged. Long, fat claws dug into the sides of the mountain as a heinous creature pulled itself up.  Atop of the mountain peak, it beat its ferocious chest, baring its wolf-like teeth and hollering at them like an animal.

It was… the Abominable American, the dreaded monster of the North Pole!

Everyone trembled with fear–and cold, but mostly fear.

North Korea cried, “He’s uglier than I ever imagined!”

“Looking at him is like looking into a black hole!” Cuba joined in. “I feel his oppressive force is sucking away all the joy and goodness I ever had!”

Canada hissed. “Aw, man, why’d that big idiot have to show up now right as I was making new friends?” She turned to them, “Hang on tight! We’re gonna outrun him, or die trying!”  She cracked the reigns and the dogs took off.


Find out how the daring tale ends tomorrow in the second and final part…

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