> Sports > 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP 

   June 24, 2002 | 1545 IST


Korean fan
Asian Ascent

  Best of the Web

A compilation of the best links on the World Cup.

  Soccer Store

Snap up Jerseys, Books, CD ROMs and Arsenal soccer balls. Click here

Act Now! Treat those Scratches

S. Korea blares matches to the North

E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

World Cup co-host South Korea has used loudspeakers to broadcast live its World Cup triumphs across its heavily fortified frontier with North Korea, the only country on earth being shielded from soccer's biggest festival.

The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) which has bisected the peninsula since the Korean War ended in 1953 has long been an arena of high-decibel propaganda competition between the capitalist South and the communist North.

But the sound pulsating from southern speakers last week was spirited soccer commentary as South Korea defeated first Italy and then Spain to become the first Asian side ever to reach the World Cup semi-finals, the Defence Ministry said.

"We've aired the matches directly from the radio broadcast," said a ministry spokesman.

"The North Korean soldiers who were on duty at that time will probably be aware of the news," he added.

However, the spokesman declined to comment on rumours circulating in Seoul that North Korean soldiers could be heard cheering South Korea.

The DMZ is four km (2.4 miles) wide and opposing troops are in close contact only at the border truce village of Panmunjom, where there are no loud speakers.

North Korean state media have shown edited snippets of the World Cup being co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, but have not made clear where the matches are being played. On Sunday, the North broadcast South Korea's June 18 victory over Italy.

The Koreas remain technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended without a peace treaty.

South Korea has hoped -- in vain so far -- that the World Cup would help revive its stalemated ties with North Korea.

Symbolising those hopes, a television commercial shows a South Korean soldier kicking a soccer ball across the barbed wire at the DMZ to cheers of "Republic of Korea" from the North.

Republic of Korea is the South's formal title, while the North calls itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Back to top
(c) Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


(c) 2002 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.