Friday, June 18, 2010

The view from elsewhere

My pen-pal and occasional commenter Livy left me a link yesterday to a parody of the World Cup news as it might be presented in North Korea (from The Daily Mash, a kind of British version of The Onion): North Korea Celebrates Flawless 8-0 Win Over Brazil.

It includes nice details like this:
"The first three goals saw their goalkeeper earn the 47th hat-trick of his career, with the last being a remarkable bicycle kick from the halfway line."

That might sound pretty ludicrous and unbelievable, but such superhuman feats of sporting prowess are surprisingly routine in The Workers' Paradise. The Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, himself leads the way, with, for example, the world record low round for a full-length 18-hole golf course: 38 (including 5 holes-in-one, naturally).

I was curious to see whether there's any similar coverage of the World Cup in the English-language state newspaper of the DPRK, Pyongyang Times - which is supposedly available online on their Naenara website.

However, you ostensibly have to register as a user before you log in to this site. I tried to do so, and discovered that there is no 'Submit' button on the registration form page! Hmmm, maybe they're not really so keen to spread the appreciation of Juche to other countries.... Or perhaps it's just a temporary glitch?

In fact, it may not matter much, since there seems to be an open 'back door' to the site: if you go to the registration form page, and then hit the 'Site Map' tab at the bottom, you seem to be able to navigate to most other parts of the site from there without logging in (it is painfully slow to download, though).

It would appear that there's been no new 'sports news' in the Pyongyang Times since January. I wonder why that would be?

[I have a copy of the print edition of the Pyongyang Times, a treasured souvenir of the holiday I took in North Korea a few years ago with Koryo Tours. It is absolutely hilarious, priceless, unparodiable.]

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