North Koreans Watch World Cup Live, Results Were Less Promising Than Expected

Ouch. Kim Jong-il must be regretting his decision to allow the first live showing of a North Korean soccer match for the national team’s game today against Portugal.

After the Chollima’s rather impressive 2-1 loss to #1 ranked Brazil, and after receiving a lot of praise from startled soccer fans worldwide, the North Korean government must have decided it was safe to allow the game to air in North Korea, un-filtered by the state. Most games, including the match against Brazil last week, are only shown a day or two later, after being safely sanitized for the public’s consumption.

I was only able to watch the first half of the game, after which score stood at a 1-0 lead for Portugal. That was still an impressive result for the Koreans, who were massively outmatched. I was shocked to see the final score sometime later, however: 7-0, for Portugal. Apparently, after I looked away, the game turned into a massive slaughter.

If I had to guess, sometime after the third or fourth goal, the live feed being broadcast to the DPRK got cut. Or I sort of hope it was, anyway. By all accounts, it was an exceedingly painful second half to watch, at least for anyone not from Portugal — and I can only imagine how much worse the reaction was in Pyongyang.


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