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
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.”