NKorean TV airs SKorea’s World Cup match

North Korean state television on Monday aired coverage of rival

South Korea’s winning World Cup match against Greece, two days

after it took place.

The communist country’s sole television channel, Korean Central

Broadcasting, aired the match late Monday. The broadcast was

monitored by The Associated Press in Seoul.

Two commentators dryly narrated the game played Saturday in

South Africa, and offered mostly background information on the

teams’ rankings and general game rules.

They expressed little excitement at a goal by South Korea’s Park

Ji-sung and calmly offered analysis on the technical skills leading

to the score.

“The Greeks seem to be struggling in a mental fight to continue

the game,” a commentator said in a monotone.

South Korea beat Greece 2-0.

North Korea has a team at the World Cup finals for the first

time since 1966, but it was unclear how closely the country’s

citizens would be able to follow the tournament and their team’s

progress. The country has just one state-run TV channel, and

foreign radio broadcasts are banned. South Korea’s SBS television,

which owns the broadcast rights for the entire Korean peninsula,

said it would not feed live coverage to North Korea as in the past

due to current political tensions.

SBS reportedly said it was investigating how North Korea secured

the footage.

Pyongyang’s Korean Central Broadcasting began airing World Cup

footage from South Africa on Saturday. Friday’s opening match

between Mexico and host South Africa aired late Saturday, and the

game between France and Uruguay was shown Sunday afternoon.

North Korea and South Korea fought a three-year war that ended

in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953. The United States and

South Korea do not have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Tensions between the two Koreas have escalated after a South

Korean naval warship sank last month, killing 46 sailors. A

multinational investigation concluded it was caused by an explosion

from a torpedo attack splitting the vessel in two.

North Korea flatly denied it fired a torpedo and warned any

retaliation would trigger war. The country’s military said Saturday

it would launch an all-out strike against any South Korean

propaganda facilities at the border such as loudspeakers, and could

turn Seoul into “a sea of flame.”