June 21, 2010 10:26
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il "gives regular tactical advice during matches using mobile phones that are not visible to the naked eye," the team's manager Kim Jong-hun told ESPN Thursday. The coach dutifully told the sports channel that Kim Jong-il developed the James-Bond technology himself.
In 2004, the North Korean leader claimed to have invented the hamburger, which would make the invisible cell phone his latest invention, ABC quipped.
It also reported that cameras caught a contingent of North Korean supporters in the stands, but it was "not certain... that any of those flag-waving fans were North Korean," citing a Xinhua news agency report that 1,000 Chinese nationals were essentially rented by North Korea in May to sit in the stands and cheer. The official Chinese news agency also reported that "the North Korean Sports Committee gave tickets to Chinese nationals, many of them actors and singers, to attend the event." Reuters reported that extra tickets were sold to Chinese nationals who wished to cheer for North Korea.
A tremendous amount of media attention focuses on World Cup underdog North Korea, which has made its appearance in the competition in 44 years, when it defeated Italy to make it to the quarter-final. ABC reported that ace North Korean striker Jong Tae-se must visit the North Korean consulate in Tokyo to change his South Korean passport to a North Korean one each time he travels abroad to represent the communist country in a match.
ABC also reported that the North Korean team is training at a public South African gym while others opted for luxurious private facilities with advanced equipment.
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