Jimmy Kimmel Asked Americans To Find North Korea On A Map, And It Didn't Go Well

Can you locate North Korea on a map?

Tensions have been bubbling of late between Pyongyang and Washington, D.C., as leaders in both cities trade barbs. But as geopolitical stresses heighten and threats of bombings, missile launches, and "fire and fury" once again dominate our national conversations, it might be time to take a step back and make sure that Americans really know what we're getting into — and what we're dealing with. 

A recent late-night segment would suggest that it might be worth taking a pause and deescalating the situation.

On his show this week, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel decided to see if Americans can find North Korea on a map.


"According to a new poll, and this poll was taken before the president's threat today, a majority of Americans — 75 percent — believe that North Korea's nuclear program is a critical threat to the United States," Kimmel told the studio audience. "But what I wonder is, how many Americans even know where North Korea is?" 

To that end, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! sent a correspondent out to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles armed with a map of the world and a camera. The correspondent then asked a series of passersby if the United States should consider military action against North Korea, and followed up by asking them to locate it on a map.

As you can see from the clip above, nearly everyone who was asked had no idea where North Korea actually is. Several people pointed to Canada (yes, that Canada), another two guessed it was somewhere in Europe, and one woman literally pointed all over the map before the correspondent took pity on her and revealed North Korea's location.

We should mention a few people came close to IDing North Korea and this video was likely edited to only show the most ridiculous responses, but the video still illustrates a larger geographic problem that might be better solved by a cram session than a military crack down.

What's more? This humorous clip partially reiterates what a New York Times-commissioned study revealed back in May — Americans who could correctly locate North Korea on an unlabeled map were increasingly inclined to support diplomatic and nonmilitary strategies.

Conversely, the video shows people who can't find North Korea on the map are seemingly in favor of military action.

"The paucity of geographical knowledge means there is no check on misleading public representations about international matters," Alec Murphy, a professor of geography at the University of Oregon, told the Times.

South Korea's new president, for his part, has stated a preference to resolve the conflict via diplomatic and economic means. This preference for peaceful measures makes sense as foreign rhetoric turns increasingly hostile: it is the residents of North Korea, South Korea, and neighboring countries that will likely bear the brunt of any fallout

Cover image via Shutterstock / sevenMaps7.


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