korea and taiwan

Taiwanese baseball fans have been condemned in the South Korean media this week for their unsporting and antagonistic behaviour during a game between the two countries held in Taipei on Tuesday. Brandishing signs and banners depicting the leader of North Korea – with which the south remains technically at war – Taiwanese fans began provoking the Korean players.

The game began as normal, with fans on both sides in high spirits. Before long, however, Taiwanese supporters holding distinctly anti-South Korean posters could be seen in the stands close to the edge of the field.

While few would argue that the Taiwanese supporters behaved aggressively – on the contrary, everyone present seemed to be having a good time, and the are no reports of violence breaking out – it’s perfectly understandable that the South Korean players, not to mention their fans and members of the media covering the event, would be shocked by such anti-Korean displays at a baseball game.

▼ Taiwanese supporters hold placards of three generations of North Korean leaders: Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung

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▼ Some fans went even further and came prepared with manga-style banners depicting a Korean baseball player being crushed by a Taiwanese tank.

korea and taiwan poster

Prior to the game, in an effort to rally their countrymen and women, many Taiwanese uploaded videos to YouTube, urging the nation to tune in and raise their flags high in support of the players as they battled Korea in the tourament.

The following video, however, displays behaviour from Taiwanese fans that some felt was a step too far and ought not to have a place in sport.

“Hi everyone. Don’t forget, Taiwan face off Korea in the WBC at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Everyone, you have to cheer for them, okay!?

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“We’re going to finish Korea off! Ha ha”

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Oh, pretty girl on the left, to think that we were in a little bit in love with you for the first few seconds of that video. Why did you have to go and crumple up someone else’s flag like that?

South Korean media was quick to criticise the unsporting behaviour that some Taiwanese fans displayed, saying such things as, “[They] came to the game with placards that showed no consideration whatsoever for their opponents. Although winning is important, it is incredibly disappointing to see fans cheering for their team while making no effort to show basic respect during international games,” and “The Taiwanese fans’ anti-Korean behaviour was despicable.”

The game ultimately ended with South Korea winning 3-2, proving that no amount of face paint or mean-spirited banners is a substitute for simply playing the game well. Taiwan is scheduled to play Japan in the tournament tomorrow evening.

Video via BeautifulSportGirls
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