North Korea's booing double standard


North Korean security personnel stand guard around Japanese supporters (in blue), while North Korean supporters cheer for their team behind them during the World Cup 2014 qualifying match in Pyongyang on November 15, 2011. Japan was defeated by North Korea 0-1.



I suppose "unsportsmanlike" isn't the worst slight against North Korean authorities, who are more often described as totalitarian, paranoid or ruthless.

But in an extremely rare soccer matchup with Japan, held in North Korea's capital, officials actually banned 150 Japanese fans from cheering on their team, according to ABC News.

Jeering Japan, however, was tolerated.

North Korean fans packing the Pyongyang stadium booed loudly when Japan's national anthem played over the loudspeakers, AFP reports. Earlier, the Japanese team was also scolded for laughing, according to AFP, and officials confiscated their chewing gum and instant noodles in the airport.

Japan and North Korea have no diplomatic ties and a deep rivalry fed by Japan's colonial takeover of the Korean peninsula in the first half of the 20th century.

In the end, North Korea beat Japan 1-0 in the World Cup qualifier, Asia One reports.