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, which was 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 Korean

player Park Ji-sung and calmly offered analysis into 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 has been unclear how closely the country’s

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


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 considering what steps to take as it

investigates 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.”