North Korea’s soccer team returned home Saturday to a rousing heroes’ welcome, complete with a brass band and bouquets, after securing a spot in the World Cup for the first time in more than 40 years.
But the heirs to the “Red Mosquitoes,” the underdog darlings of the 1966 World Cup, are unlikely to bask in the same international welcome when they travel to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.
North Korea’s return to soccer’s most prominent tournament — secured Wednesday with a 0-0 draw against Saudi Arabia — has been overshadowed by the string of North Korean provocations that have had the world on edge in recent months.
Interesting tibit: Kim Jong-Il personally managed a soccer team for about three years
AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service