Last updated at 12:14 BST, Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Live football unlikely for North Korea


16 June 2010

It's almost impossible for most North Koreans to follow their team's progress in the World Cup because the media is very tightly controlled there. Live match coverage is unlikely during the tournament.

John Sudworth

The Korean football team

At a pre-World Cup friendly match


Click to hear the report:


North Korea, of course, hasn't sent any fans to South Africa. Such are the restrictions it places on freedom of movement that there is no such thing as a North Korean tourist. And the single, government-run, TV channel rarely broadcasts live international games, perhaps because it risks allowing pictures of people protesting against the country's human rights record onto the airwaves. But citizens who do have access to a TV set - ownership is patchy outside the capital Pyongyang - probably will get to see the games, albeit in recorded form.

The North Korean leader is also, it seems, taking an interest in the progress of the team. According to officials from the North Korean Football Association, Kim Jong-il has given them in-depth guidance and proposed "tactics most relevant for the characteristics of Korean players."

If they do receive a humiliating drubbing it might just mean that the TV schedulers suddenly can't find room for the games after all.

John Sudworth, BBC News, Seoul


Click to hear the vocabulary:


the restrictions it places on freedom of movement

the rules and regulations which limit where people can go

there is no such thing as a North Korean tourist

North Korean tourists do not exist


as it happens in real time, not delayed or shown after it happens

onto the airwaves

broadcast on TV

ownership is patchy

only a few people own or have

albeit in recorded form

although only broadcast after the games have already been played

in-depth guidance

very detailed advice


strategies or planned ways of doing something (here, playing football)

a humiliating drubbing

a very embarrassing defeat or loss

can't find room for

aren't able to make space for

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