Representatives of South Korea and London have issued a joint statement agreeing that “it’s grim up north”.

They followed the words with photos of salad, in the hope of showing their distant cousins a way to improve their lives immediately.

The press release, with greens, has been unveiled in a synchronised ceremony held in London and Seoul with a parade of pearly kings and queens in London and a team of Buchaechum dancers in the South Korean capital.

Ken Livingstone was expected to make the statement at the end of the parade, with a translator, and be televised in both capitals, but he cancelled at the last moment out of concerns he couldn’t keep to the script and was replaced by George Osborne.

Mr Osborne was seen as a good replacement, having recently twinned his unpaid role of high visibility hand wringer for the north of the England with that of a peace envoy from South to North Korea, a role that while only ceremonial, nevertheless displays his mastery of gangnam style in the demilitarised zone.

Users of social media in London and Seoul have been urged to inform anyone they know living north of Watford that life is a damn sight harder living in North Korea and they should try and improve their lives by focusing on alleviating the damage of lifestyle habits such as hare coursing and being irritated with London all the bloody time.

South Koreans will similarly be asked to stand on the border with their own north and use megaphones to shout at their alienated relatives that they think they have it hard, they could try living in Rochdale.

Concern is growing though that continuation of a policy of emoting about the state of things in the regions, while proving unable and unwilling to do anything to improve what are terrible, horrible, painful, miserable, harrowing and misunderstood existences, could lead to an unfortunate response.

Well, at least from Yorkshire.

No one knows what the hell North Korea will do, except perhaps Donald Trump, who is probably planning to build a tower there once he’s turned the place into a giant sheet of glass.

There hasn’t been a response from either north yet. The presumption is that they are stunned into silence by the outpouring of understanding and probably feeling a little ashamed now by how they treat their warm friends to the south.

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