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In Unprecedented Move, North Korea Broadcasts Women’s Soccer Match Lost to South Korea

In Unprecedented Move, North Korea Broadcasts Women’s Soccer Match Lost to South Korea

Posted August. 08, 2005 03:04,   


In an unprecedented fashion, on August 6, North Korea broadcast its women’s national soccer team game against South Korea in which it lost, 0-1.

The sole TV station that broadcasts in all of North Korea, Chosun Central TV, allocated 50 minutes of its prime time programming starting from 9:20 p.m. to broadcasting inter-Korean soccer matches of both men’s and women’s teams which were played at the East Asian Football Championship 2005.

During the first 20 minutes of the 50 minutes, scenes of the tied men’s game were shown, and the remaining 30 minutes showed footage of the lost women’s game between South and North Korea.

A North Korean sportscaster said, “Recently, the South Korean women’s soccer has reached a high standard,” and commented, “The South Korean women’s team also beat China, a strong Asian team, 2-0.”

It is the first time ever that North Korea broadcast a match that it lost to South Korea. Many experts on North Korea showed a surprised reaction.

Editorialist Lee Joo-il (44), who defected from North Korea in 2000, of the Internet daily “Dailynk” assessed, “It is a huge change for North Korea, considering that even a few years ago, one was considered a criminal just for saying that South Korea beat North Korea.” He also added, “It is proof that in a situation continuously difficult to block information from outside, North Korea is recognizing the adverse effects of hiding information.”

“Currently, North Korea is dividing political and non-political issues, and gradually loosening is ideological restrictions. It shows that North Korea is willing not to link sports to ideological confrontation,” analyzed Nam Sung-wook (46), professor of North Koreanology at Korea University.