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Paper Monitor

12:37 UK time, Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Cross-border spats are not unusual, but when one of those involved is a massively-armed nuclear power, with myriad potential issues for civil unrest apparently locked in the throes of a leadership changeover, and the other has the backing of the world's only superpower, Paper Monitor thinks it's time to wrest its gaze away from royal wedding preparations and read some real news.

So, should we be worried?

Times Korea front page

A pun, we ask you... a pun

Hardly, if the Times' front page headline is anything to go by - "Smoke on the water as North Korea opens fire". For non-Deep Purple fans, they've resorted to word play. No one would deploy a pun if World War III was about to kick off. Would they? Besides, the story only makes the front page picture slot. The paper's lead is actually about education policy. Worry-o-meter™ rating out of 10: Three

"War clouds over Korea" - the Independent. Oh dear. This looks worse. No pun and the pictures are all in sombre black and white. And its map has a slightly frightening explosion icon where the North Korean shells landed. The Times has a map, but no explosion icon.
Worry-o-meter: Eight

The Guardian's approach is much like the Times' - front page pic (though no pun), story across two pages inside. And going deeper into the paper's comment pages, there's an analysis piece by foreign editor Simon Tisdall. "At the heart of the Korean issue is a family dispute about money and power. A deal with the North is doable." That sounds like nothing more than a flare up at the Queen Vic.
Worry-o-meter: Five

The Sun also goes for a pun - but that's no surprise given its North Korea pedigree on this front. Remember "How do you solve a problem like Korea?" - the Sun certainly does, it's even got a small panel about that edition and the "famous Sun headline". Today's is "Bad Korea move". That aside though, Paper Monitor is wondering whether it's time to dust off the nuclear shelter and stock up on tinned beans. There's a North v South graphic comparing both sides military firepower, with icons of tanks, rocket launchers, warships, combat aircraft and so on.
Worry-o-meter: N...n...nine

It's pretty much ditto for the Mirror - "End of you Korea" though there is at least an analysis box headlined "Stakes too high for war".
Worry-o-meter: Eight

Right, back to Wills and Kate.

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