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The LKL quiz of the year 2017

2017 quiz collage

I’m currently going through my 2017 press cuttings and trying to make sense of them, in the hope that as in (some) previous years I’ll be able to pull together a series of posts summarising some of the most newsworthy stories of the year. In case I don’t manage to get that done (after all, I haven’t done 2016’s yet), here’s a quiz pulled together from some of the more off-beat articles I came across.

A couple of the questions are pretty easy; others might take a bit of googling. Have fun.

The LKL quiz of the year 2017

1. Emmerdale is a British TV soap opera that has been airing since 1972. According to a British tabloid, a misunderstanding over a tape recording of an episode of Emmerdale gave rise to a major Korea-related incident in 2017. What was that newsworthy item?


2. What did it mean when the Radio Pyongyang announcer said “I will review math assignments” followed by a list of pages and numbers from an unknown book?

random numbers

3. Picture Quiz: What happened next?

Kelly interview

4. “Bloody Fresh”. Name the celebrity and product associated with this quote.

5. What international honour did Bucheon receive this year, an honour it shares with, among others, Edinburgh and Manchester?

6. Put the following pronouncement into context: “With this mascara, users will turn into raccoons after yawning.”


7. Where could you have read the following rather rambling message?

Hello, I’m feeling really good today, because a swallow has left things around me, and except for the fact that it’s getting in the way of my diet, I’m feeling really good today, just a little bit. You people […] should work and smile as well. But I really think we need capital punishment. And abortions. But I love everyone […] and the President. Cheers.

8. Pyongyang vowed to track down the reviewers of a certain book and ‘cut off their dirty windpipes’. Who wrote the offending book?


9. According to the head of the Institute of Mucheon Culture,

As the economy slows down, the fortune-telling houses also suffer a recession, but there is a tendency where the number of spiritual practitioners also increases. When households fall apart one after another due to economic difficulties many people get possessed by a spirit and become a shaman.

Ryoo Hyeon-kyeong as the young shaman Kim Geum-hwa
Ryoo Hyeon-kyeong as the young shaman Kim Geum-hwa in the Park Chan-kyong film Manshin

Approximately how many shamans and fortune-tellers are there said to be in South Korea?

10. What item of clothing had to be rationed when it was introduced into the shops in November?

11. Who was served Dokdo Shrimp for dinner, alongside a dish marinated in a soy sauce that was older than his country?

State Banquet

12. Which glitzy development that opened in 2017 featured artwork by the equally glitzy artist Damien Hirst?


And the bonus non-Korean question: according to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Daily, many young Chinese people are failing army fitness tests. One common symptom of poor fitness is unusually large veins in a particular part of the body. Which part of the body, and what is the reported cause?

Answers will be posted in the comments section on 31 January 2018.

One thought on “The LKL quiz of the year 2017

  1. And here are the answers:

    1. According to the Sunday Sport, Kim Jong-un had Kim Jong-nam assassinated because he recorded over a VHS copy of an episode of Emmerdale, the Young Marshall’s favourite programme. Believe that if you will.

    Sport front page

    2. According to the Daily Express, he listing of random codes was apparently an instruction to operatives to assassinate a British businessman who had assisted in the defection of Thae Yong-ho

    Kim Jong-un assassination order

    3. Professor Robert Kelly’s young children entered the room, interrupting the interview, closely followed by his wife who dragged them out again. Sharp-eyed Ellen DeGeneres thought she saw that Mrs Kelly’s jeans had been hastily pulled up, and speculated that the children had managed to escape her oversight while she was answering a call of nature. The various must-watch videos:

    The original BBC live interview | The follow-up interview with the whole family | The Ellen DeGeneres analysis | The hilarious parody by Jojo + Ben

    4. Celebrity potty-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay, endorsing Cass beer.

    Gordon Ramsay Cass advertisement

    5. Bucheon became a UNESCO City of Literature.

    6. Kim Jong-un was unimpressed by the quality of the product when he visited a cosmetics factory in 2015. A year later the factory bucked its ideas up and registered its brand with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), contributing to Pyongyang’s “soft power”.

    7. On the Cheongwadae bulletin board intended for members of the public to raise petitions.

    Chongwadae petition board graphic

    8. Daniel Tudor and James Pearson, for their book ‘North Korea Confidential: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors’

    9. According to an article in the Korea Times, there are over 1 million shamans and fortune tellers in South Korea, though the logic doesn’t quite stack up.

    10. The Pyeongchang Olympics padded bench coat

    Pyeongchang bench coat

    11. Donald Trump

    12. Paradise City, the new gambling and entertainment mega-resort at Incheon.

    Paradise City

    And the final question about the Chinese military? Read the bizarre story for yourself in the Evening Standard.

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