On Saturday I wrote about Team North Korea’s trip to the World Cup – the country’s first appearance in the global tournament since 1966. Among the oddities of Team NoKo, is the rumor that North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il has a special, secret hotline to the North Korean bench to give his own special brand of soccer “advice” during their games.
Since then North Korea was thoroughly thumped by Portugal 7-0 on Monday, and South Korea’s Chosun lIbo is suggesting that Kim Jong-il himself might be responsible for the team’s crushing defeat. According to the Chosun, the North Korean team played in a way very unlike the style of Coach Kim Jong-hun (no relation), prompting some to speculate that he was influenced by someone outside to change the team’s strategy, and the only person with that sort of pull would be the Dear Leader himself. In a press conference last week, Kim Jong-hun confirmed that Kim Jong-il provides “advice” to the team, the type of statement he couldn’t have made unless permitted by Jong-il, which adds to the speculation that he was in fact whispering in the coach’s ear.
Kim Jong-il’s regime was apparently so buoyed by North Korea’s hard-fought 2-1 loss to Brazil, regarded as one of the best sides in the world, that they allowed the North Korea-Portugal match to be broadcast live on North Korea’s state-run TV channels, basically an unprecedented move in the Hermit Kingdom. According to people in the North contacted secretly by the Chosun, the move has backfired spectacularly, with some North Koreans so upset by the 7-0 defeat they “drank themselves senseless” and will “never forgive” the players for their lopsided loss.
1 day ago