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World Cup: When North Korea talks, it's tense and touchy

June 14, 2010 |  1:45 pm

North Korea has kept a lower profile than any of the 32 World Cup teams, with players keeping to themselves on a private floor in their luxury hotel near Johannesburg, South Africa, and largely avoiding the media.

But the team had to talk to the press Monday on the eve of its World Cup opener with Brazil, and things didn't go so well.

In asking Coach Kim John Hun a question, a South Korean reporter, speaking in Korean, referred to the country as "North Korea" rather than by the country's official name, the Democratic Republic of Korea.

"There's no such country named 'North Korea," ' Kim replied. "Next question."

A later question about North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's involvement in team selection was cut off, with a FIFA official reminding journalists not to ask political questions.

-- Kevin Baxter, in Johannesburg, South Africa