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Mysteries of the North Korean World Cup Team!

By June 15, 2010

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Brazil just beat North Korea (note from coach Kim Jong-hun: don't call them North Korea!) in its World Cup opener 2-1, meaning there's at least one North Korean on the team who's likely bought some time away from the forced labor camp.

The ESPN announcers during the game gave us some fun knowledge gleaned about the super-secretive team from the DPRK. First, the coach claimed to have a direct line of communication from Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il to make calls on plays, etc. Not a traditional cell, mind you, but some vague, secretive device that the announcers referred to as the "invisible phone." They also made the mocking point that with 38-under-par in his first try out on the golf course, how could anyone question Dear Leader's clear superior sports judgment?

The fan section is something I've been quite curious about. No one is allowed to leave the country, basically, so how would North Korea have a cheering section? They had a small one, all right, with uncomfortably coordinated fans waving their flags while all dressed alike. The ESPN announcers said the "fans" were reportedly hand-picked Chinese actors, which is undoubtedly a relief for the kidnapped South Korean actors. When reporters tried to get close to ask the "fans" about this ... well, you got it, they weren't allowed to get close.

As Marine Hyde wrote on the Guardian's sports blog after the team's laughable presser: "As for their goal in the tournament: 'this will bring great happiness to our Dear Leader.' It would be screamingly funny, of course, were it not taking place on the very the day it emerged that His Dearness had cut off all state food rations to his people."

And I couldn't help but think it was the team's sweet, slight taste of freedom, and the plaintive strains of the Dear Leader's anthem, that choked up one player during the playing of North Korea's national anthem before kickoff. Star striker Jong Tae-se, who grew up in a community of 600,000 Koreans in Japan and was educated in pro-Pyongyang schools run by the General Assn. of Korean Residents in Japan, had to introduce his teammates to a cell phone. Sad.

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)


June 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm
(1) North Korea Great says:

Put politics aside, my dear. last night, north korea people deserved respects. And F*** Kim Jong-Il.

June 16, 2010 at 12:24 am
(2) Oh My says:

Sigh! And you wonder why Americans are considered as the dumbest and most ignorant people on the planet. Well done Bridget you’ve not only totally embarassed yourself but have managed to drag a whole nation’s IQ down with this piece of trash. In the future do some research before posting your garbage, otherwise all you’ll achieve is provide the rest of the world with more evidence of American stupidity.

June 16, 2010 at 1:55 am
(3) ed says:

I guess because they’re North Koreans whose political views differ from ours they’re little more than political currency and not human beings? First of all the “one player” has a name despite having an Asian face… it is Jong Tae-se, he’s actually considered the Asian “Wayne Rooney” and is quite well known in JAPAN where he was born and lives despite claiming DRK allegiance . I believe Japan is a free nation?

Do you know why he was crying? If you understand what was going on it was a legitimately moving scene… he’s basically an expatriot playing for his homeland from another country… and all the bitterness that entails. I’m sure if he were an exiled Jew crying at the 1936 Olympics maybe you’d be a little more sensitive?

Do you understand why the man was born in Japan? Because his grandparents were forcibly relocated to Japan under the aegis of the same Fascism that expelled Jews from Germany and gassed them in camps. A lot more is going on than you laughing at some funny Asian man crying and taking swipes at his nationality.

This is seriously why the rest of the world hates us. We shoot off our mouths in total ignorance of where someone comes from, what their views are or even bother to put a name to a face.. so sure in our moral superiority that ignorance affords us.

June 16, 2010 at 6:02 am
(4) James says:

Ha ha what an ignorant b1tch. Well said Ed. Props to you for speaking out. Even greater respect if you’re non Asian. However I wonder how long before these comments are deleted. LOL. Remember America is the land of the free and there’s no censorship.

June 16, 2010 at 9:15 am
(5) ProKorean says:

Do you guys realize this post has nothing to do with swiping at nationality and everything to do with the grievous human-rights violations and tyranny in North Korea? Or are you just name-calling shills for the Dear Leader?

June 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm
(6) James says:

ProKorean, Don’t worry we’re all paid by the ‘Dear Leader’ to make these comments. Really! Get a clue dude. The blog has since been edited to at least include the guy’s name, Jong Tae-se and the fact that he lives in Japan. Whereas before the ignorant dumb b1tch just assumed he was a North Korean that was allow to be let out of a cage to play in the world cup. Get it! As the 2nd poster put it, this is just another example of a dumbass American who know next to nothing.

June 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm
(7) LoveKim says:

I didn’t know that the DPRK had an internet propaganda wing that goes around comment-flooding on blog posts…

June 17, 2010 at 1:04 am
(8) Zainichi Chōsenjin says:

Bridget – The joke is on you. You wrote – “had to introduce his teammates to a cell phone. Sad.” These guys have traveled around the world before you even got out of your cave. Talk about ignorant.

June 17, 2010 at 7:26 am
(9) pileup says:

I didn’t know it was funny to make fun of a country where everyone but the government lives in squalor. D: Maybe I should try it D:


That was funny, right?!

June 17, 2010 at 7:53 am
(10) James says:

LMAO. Come on Bridget hiding behind BS names like ‘ProKorean’ and ‘LoveKim’ aren’t going to fool anyone.

(8) Spot on. In her original blog Bridget didn’t even know the guy’s name is Jong Tae-se and that he lives in Japan. This in today’s world where information is available at the tip of her fingers. So you can pretty much write off the comment about the phone and pretty much this whole blog as a matter of fact. It’s sad indeed. Sad for Bridget for being a total airhead.

June 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm
(11) Deltahost says:

Man, you guys tanked Bridget. :D

I agree completely. Ignorant drabble should not be used to denounce certain unfortunate nationalities. It is rude, biased, and may potentially offend many.

But on the other hand, this blogger does have a right to type her mind. So regardless of the atrocities contained within this article, I do believe it pointless to educate the author on world events. People aren’t changed this way.

Yeah, Korea got eliminated. :(

June 23, 2010 at 12:02 am
(12) Sage says:

This article is complete trash… It not only is not able to approach said political differences in an adult like and mature manner but it instead simply uses propaganda in order to diminish the readers intellect.

June 7, 2012 at 11:58 am
(13) AbewayJawk says:

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