A banner carrying the phrase "I still have support from 50 million Korean people" in Korean is hung at lodging for the South Korean squad at the Olympic Athletes Village in Tokyo on July 15, 2021. The phrase is a parody of "I still have 12 warships," a famous remark by legendary Adm. Yi Sun-sin of the Joseon Dynasty, who defeated about 330 Japanese battleships with only 12 ships at the Great Battle of Myeongryang in the Strait of Myeongryang off South Korea's southwestern Jindo Island in 1597. (Yonhap)
A North Korean propaganda outlet slammed Japan on Monday for labeling cheer banners that South Korea's Olympic delegation hung at the athletes' village as anti-Japanese and forcing them to be taken down.
Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda website, said in a commentary that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's "gang" has accused South Korea of hanging anti-Japanese banners and went so far as to have "far-right gangsters" display the Japanese imperialist flag in front of the South Korean quarters.
Earlier, the South Korean team had hung the cheer banners on balconies of their rooms. The banners read, "I still have support from 50 million Korean people," a message coined after the famous words left by Admiral Yi Sun-sin, a historical figure admired for defeating Japan in a naval battle in 1597 with an undermanned fleet.
Members of a far-right Japanese organization protested the banners and staged a protest outside the village while holding the Rising Sun Flag, formerly used by the Imperial Japanese Army and viewed by South Koreans and other Asian countries as a symbol of Japan's militaristic and imperialistic past.
The North Korean website also lashed out at Japan for marking a set of South Korean islets in the East Sea, Dokdo, as Japanese territory on a map on its official website for the Olympics and for making claims to the islets in its latest defense policy paper.
"The Japanese people's use of the Olympic Games to realize their ugly political goals and ambition for reinvasion clearly demonstrates that they are long enemies of the Korean people and destroyers of peace that are even more dangerous than the malicious virus," it said.
South Korea took down the banners on July 17, following a request from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). (Yonhap)