18 October 2011

Japan to limit spectators traveling to World Cup qualifier in North Korea

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government has asked the Japan Football Association to limit the number of spectators traveling to Pyongyang to watch Japan's World Cup soccer qualifier against North Korea next month to around 200 to 300, government sources said Monday.

The government apparently decided to keep the number of Japanese going to North Korea for the match to a minimum as the Foreign Ministry has asked Japanese nationals to refrain from visiting the country as part of sanctions imposed following a North Korean missile launch in 2006.

It also likely determined that it would be difficult to protect Japanese nationals in the event of trouble at the stadium and elsewhere because Japan and North Korea do not maintain diplomatic relations.

The JFA is expected to respond positively to the government's request, but the move may draw complaints from fans.

The sources said the Justice Ministry and the Foreign Ministry made the request to the JFA during the first half of October, also asking the association to limit the number of media personnel from Japan covering the event to around 50.

The request, however, is not legally binding and Japanese nationals can enter North Korea on their own if they obtain visas at the country's embassy or consulate in China.

Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives Seishiro Eto, who heads a parliamentary group promoting soccer diplomacy, is said to be also considering traveling to Pyongyang via Beijing to watch the Nov. 15 match.

Soccer world governing body FIFA has stipulated that the number of spectators and other details of qualifying round matches for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil should be decided through discussions between the countries of the host and visiting teams.

(Mainichi Japan) October 18, 2011

07 October 2011

AFC Women`s U19 - North Korea 2-1 South Korea

Ho Chi Minh City: Kim Su-gyong's goal nine minutes from time sealed a second-half comeback by DPR Korea as they got their AFC U-19 Women's U-19 campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 triumph over Korea Republic.

Korea Republic had taken the lead after 17 minutes when Choi Mi-rae found the back of the net and retained their advantage until midway through the second period when substitute Kim jo-ran's deflected shot levelled the contest.

Kim Su-gyong then finished off good work from Kwon Song-hwa to grab the three points for DPR Korea.

Korea Republic shaded the opening 45 minutes and Yu Ri tested O Chang-ran with a shot following a surging run down the left into the box after quarter of an hour but the DPR Korea keeper pushed the forward's effort over the bar.

Two minutes later, Choi Mi-rae finished off a Korea Republic set piece with a powerful strike that O was unable to keep out to give her side the lead.

Choi Duck-joo's charges continued to press and had another clear sight of goal just after the half-hour mark but Lee Jung-eun side-footed straight at the keeper following a cutback to the edge of the box.

DPR Korea then spurned a good opportunity of their own when Kim Su-gyong lifted an attempt over the bar from inside the area with Kim Min-ah lying prone on the floor after the Korea Republic keeper had made an initial save.

DPR Korea proved more of a force in the second period and had a fantastic opening to equalise just before the hour mark when Kim Un-hyang broke free down the right-hand side and surged into the box but blasted her finish straight at keeper Kim Min-ah.

They did draw level in the 72nd minute when Kwon turned her marker and skipped away down the right flank before squaring for fellow substitute Kim Jo-ran to steer home from the edge of the area with the help of a slight deflection from a Korea Republic defender.

Kim Bich-na had a good chance to restore her side's lead almost immediately at the other end but was off target before DPR Korea grabbed the winner in the 81st minute.

Kwon forged down the left side this time and pulled the ball back to Kim Su-gyong inside the box and the midfielder made no mistake with the finish.

Korea Republic had a half-chance to salvage a point in stoppage time but when the ball fell to Choi Yoo-jung, she was unable to get any power behind her effort.