North Korea to football World Cup finals


From British daily The Guardian:

Now for South Korea? North Korea reaches World Cup finals

Forty-three years after success in England, North returns to football’s big stage

* Justin McCurry Tokyo
* Friday 19 June 2009

It could be a genuine game of two halves. Forty-three years after they stunned the world by reaching the quarter-finals in England in 1966, North Korea have qualified for the World Cup finals – setting up the tantalising possibility of a match with South Korea.

Having played out a 0-0 draw in Saudi Arabia, the North Korean team is now preparing for next summer’s finals in South Africa.

A North Korean victory over the old enemy or its other great nemesis, the US – who are on the verge of qualification – would be exploited for every last ounce of propaganda value in Pyongyang. …

When in Pyongyang, Jong Tae-se, a Japanese-born forward who plays for the J-League team Kawasaki Frontale, travels to training by subway and trolleybus.

Jong, who was born to South Korean parents, is regarded as something of a socialist poster boy after rejecting offers from Japan and South Korea to represent the North. …

Yet North Korea’s only previous appearance in the World Cup suggests the Italians [current world champions] have reason to fear the men they called the Red Mosquitoes.

At their last meeting, at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough, in 1966, North Korea stunned the football world with a 1-0 win. While the Italians dodged a hail of rotten tomatoes on their arrival in Rome, the victors endeared themselves to their hosts during the tournament.

In the quarter final against Portugal, North Korea went 3-0 up, only to lose 5-3 after a Eusebio-inspired comeback.

Few believe the current team will revisit those heady days: bookmakers are offering odds of 750-1 on North Korea to lift the World Cup. The best they can hope for is another famous victory, perhaps against the US or South Korea.

Japan: Communists Protest Call for Using SDF to Inspect North Korean Cargo Ships: here.

North Korea to restart exchanges with South: here.

South Korea is poised to launch its first rocket into orbit, just four months after Pyongyang launched its own and was immediately slapped with UN sanctions: here.

2 thoughts on “North Korea to football World Cup finals

  1. Football fans’ risk to career prospects

    Sport: Wearing a football kit to work or cluttering an office desk with pictures of a favourite football team can “relegate” career prospects, workers have been warned.

    A study of 900 senior managers showed that workers could also face problems if they support a different football team to their boss.

    Online recruitment firm TheLadders.co.uk said brazen support for a team could be a “red card” offence for office workers.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/britain/News-in-brief69

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  2. Canberra criticised over North Korean visas

    Wednesday 09 December 2009

    Australia has been accused of censorship for denying visas to Korean artists whose works are on display in a regional exhibition.

    Five artists from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) were invited to a contemporary art show in Queensland state to talk about 15 pieces the organisers had commissioned for the exhibition.

    But Foreign Minister Stephen Smith rejected the Mansudae Art Studio artists’ applications for an exception to a visa ban on the DPRK.

    Mr Smith sought to justify his decision, saying: “The studio produces almost all of the official artworks in North Korea, including works that clearly constitute propaganda aimed at glorifying and supporting the regime.”

    Nick Bonner, a Beijing-based art dealer who helped curate the exhibition, pointed out that while all art studios in the DPRK were publicly owned, that did not mean every work was political.

    “For an artist to produce a body of work and not be able to speak about it, that’s censorship,” Mr Bonner declared.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/84274

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