Monthly Archives: gennaio 2014

Votazioni per il Pallone d’Oro 2013

Il capitano Jang Song Hyok ha votato per Neymar (1º), Cristiano Ronaldo (2º) e Messi (3º), mentre l’allenatore Yun Jong Su ha votatao per Messi (1º), Neymar (2º) e Ribery (3º).
Nella classifica degli allenatori Jang Song Hyok ha votato per Mourinho (1º), Scolari (2º) e Benitez (3º), mentre Yun Jong Su ha votato per Benitez (1º), Scolari (2º) e Mourinho (3º).

Per quanto riguarda le femmine, la capitano Hong Myong-Hui ha votato per Lena Goessling (1°), Marta (2°) e Nilla Fischer (3°), mentre l’allenatore Kim Kwang-Min ha votato per Marta (1°), Lena Goessling (2°) e Nilla Fischer (3°).
Tra gli allenatori, sia Hong Myong-Hui che Kim Kwang-Min hanno votato per Anna Signeul (1°), Even Pellerud (2°) e Silva Neid (3°).

AFC U22 C’ship: DPR Korea 0-0 UAE

Muscat: The United Arab Emirates advanced to the quarter-finals of the AFC U-22 Championship after holding on for a goalless draw with DPR Korea on Wednesday at Seeb Sports Complex, which ended the campaign of their Group B rivals.

DPR Korea hit the woodwork and twice saw efforts cleared off the line in the first half, with the UAE simply needing to avoid defeat to advance to the last eight alongside Syria.

And despite DPR Korea again hitting the frame of the goal in the second half as they sought the three points they needed, the UAE survived to set-up a meeting with the winner of Group A in the quarter-finals at Sultan Qaboos Stadium on Sunday.

“I am very happy with the result. It was a hard match as DPR Korea wanted to win and I had made the players ready for this,” said UAE coach Ali Ebrahim.

“We wanted to win so we had to play defensively. Our strategy was to defend as we wanted to win or not lose.

“We gave the players a lot of information as for some of them it was the first time they played in a match like this. This was a very good experience for these players.”

Despite the previously unbeaten UAE knowing a point would be enough to seal a place in the quarter-finals, DPR Korea goalkeeper An Tae-song was forced into a double save at his near post after just 10 minutes to deny first Yousif Saeed and then Omar Juma.

But with DPR Korea in need of three points following Monday’s defeat by Syria, UAE goalkeeper Ahmad Shambih was soon called into action to gather a downward header from striker Pak Kwang-ryong following a slick passing move.

And with DPR Korea increasing their dominance on the contest, Shambih then was grateful for assistance from his defence twice as first captain Abdulsallam Mohameed and then Ali Salim were required to clear off the line from Jong Il-gwan’s shot and Jo Kwang’s header.

Shambih continued to live a charmed life as Pak’s 40th minute free-kick crashed into the woodwork, but fortunately for the UAE, Kim Ju-song was unable to direct a difficult rebound on target.

Despite being forced onto the backfoot for the majority of the first half, the UAE did finish the opening 45 minutes strongly as Waleed Ambar saw his near post strike unconvincingly bundled away by An in the DPR Korea goal.

That did not stop DPR Korea’s overall dominance continuing into the second half as Yun Il-gwang flashed an effort across the face of the UAE goal just before the hour mark before Shambih denied Jong soon after.

But with DPR Korea unable to find the breakthrough, coach Yun Jong-su introduced Kim Jin-hyok in place of Jo to form a new front three with Kim Ju-song dropping in behind the front pair.

And the move almost paid off seven minutes after the hour mark as Pak’s header played in Kim Jin-hyok, but the off balance second half substitute blazed over the crossbar.

Jong then crashed a header into the UAE crossbar with 16 minutes remaining before Shambih was quick to react to save from So Kyong-jin with the UAE increasingly retreating further into defence as the clocked ticked down.

Five minutes of added time gave DPR Korea hope, but the UAE finished strongly and were able to effectively run down the clock.

“Because the players felt stress as they had to win, this caused them to miss chances. It was a tough match and we did our best,” said DPR Korea coach Yun Jong-su.

“The players did what they were told, but the only problem was the lack of goals.

“The UAE were strong in defence, but we had a plan and the players did what they were told.”

Si sbatte contro la traversa

Eliminazione cocente al primo turno per l’under22 coreana. In un girone tutto sommato non complicatissimo, la nazionale di Pyongyang ottiene appena 4 punti ed esce lasciando strada a Siria ed Emirati Arabi.

Nella sfida decisiva, contro l’UAE è però mancata solo la fortuna: una partita dominata, come dimostrano le statistiche, è ben due traverse clamorose, oltre ad un paio di salvataggi sulla linea e due belle parate del portiere avversario. Per gli arabi solo un’occasione nel finale.

Pak Kwang-Ryong, migliore in campo, ha colto la prima clamorosa traversa con una magistrale punizione e sulla ribattuta Kim Ju-Song ha mancato il gol del vantaggio a porta vuota. Nel secondo tempo i coreani hanno ancora di più spinto sull’acceleratore trovando nel portiere degli Emirati un baluardo insuperabile (due occasioni clamorose con Jo Kwang e So Kyong-Jin). Laddove non arrivava il numero 1 avversario è arrivata per la seconda volta la traversa colpita da Jong Il-Gwan con un colpo di testa.

Sterili gli attacchi finali.

A pesare come un macigno è la brutta sconfitta di due giorni fa contro la Siria che di fatto ha eliminato i coreani.


World leaders shouldn’t let Rodman monopolize N. Korea engagement

World leaders shouldn’t let Rodman monopolize N. Korea engagement

Nile Bowie is a political analyst and photographer currently residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached on Twitter or at

As tension mounts on the Korean Peninsula ahead of annual joint US-South Korea military exercises that routinely generate condemnation from Pyongyang, it’s clear that high-level engagement from someone other than Dennis Rodman is sorely needed.

The bizarre friendship between former the NBA star and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been the subject of intense ridicule and debate following Rodman’s latest visit to Pyongyang. To mark the birthday of Kim Jong-un, Rodman organized a basketball match between retired NBA veterans and North Korean players, with the home side emerging as victors. The famously flamboyant Rodman was ridiculed for singing, “Happy Birthday” to Kim, but more so for his disastrous live interview with CNN, where the former slam-dunker struggled for coherency in a drunken stupor. Rodman issued an explanation for the interview shortly after claiming that he had too much to drink, and apologized for making insensitive statements about Kenneth Bae, the American evangelical activist arrested by North Korean authorities while on a trip as a tourist in 2012 over accusations that he incited citizens to overthrow the government in Pyongyang.

Rodman was deeply criticized for not doing enough to promote the plight of Bae, and for traveling to the country so shortly after the high-profile purge of Kim Jong-un’s uncle-in-law, Jang Song-thaek, who handled much of Pyongyang’s economic affairs and its trade relations with China.

Rodman has always been frank toward the media about how his trips to Pyongyang have no political objectives, but the less-apparent benefits of his “basketball diplomacy” tour are often lost on Western commentators.

North Korean citizens’ view of the world outside their borders has been shaped entirely by state media, which rarely reports on international news unless it plays into Pyongyang’s narrative. Rodman’s presence offers a genuinely rare state-backed cultural exchange with the United States that appeals to citizens of all age demographics, which can contribute to the softening of peoples’ opinions of Americans and Westerners that have otherwise been formed by highly potent anti-American themes prevalent in official propaganda.

Furthermore, the sight of an eccentric foreigner being embraced by the leadership may engender North Koreans to adopt a mildly positive view of the outside world with greater curiosity toward it. Despite Rodman’s public relations hiccups, the former athlete has done more to win the hearts of minds of average North Koreans than the Obama administration can ever hope to.

B-52s don’t do slam-dunks

Rodman’s ‘basketball diplomacy’ trips do not have the backing of the Obama administration, so it is unlikely that such exchanges can generate a political effect comparable to the “ping-pong diplomacy” of the 1970s between the US and China.

The Obama administration’s policy toward Pyongyang is one of so-called “strategic patience” that demands North Korea state its commitment to complete denuclearization as a precondition for any dialogue. Washington and Seoul have paid no heed to Pyongyang’s repeated calls to establish a peace treaty that formally ends the Korean War, and in the absence of diplomatic pragmatism that would give space to engagement, Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities and missile delivery systems are becoming more sophisticated. Rodman’s position as Washington’s most critical diplomatic conduit to Pyongyang is a partially a result of thickheaded policy lines taken by conservative administrations in the US and South Korea that have proven to be impediments to dialogue and reconciliation by elbowing Pyongyang into a confrontational stance.

The Foal Eagle joint exercises conducted between the US and South Korea is one of the world’s largest annual military drills that focus on amphibious landing operations with extensive maritime, air, and ground maneuvers. During the 2013 drills, the US Air Force used B-52 strategic bombers for the first time, which are capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang viewed these measures as hugely provocative, essentially a dress rehearsal for the nuclear bombing and invasion of their country, and the international media rarely takes its stance into objective consideration. Rather than creating conditions for North Korea to integrate into East Asia at its own pace, such needlessly confrontation displays legitimize Pyongyang’s official rhetoric and allow it to maintain a siege-mentality. Pyongyang recently opposed efforts to organize family reunions with Seoul for families separated by the Korean War in protest over the joint exercises, and similarly rescinded an invitation to discuss Kenneth Bae’s situation to US human rights envoy Robert King specifically to protest the use of B-52 bombers in last year’s exercises.

Preconditions & preemptive strikes

Kim Jong-un’s recent New Year’s address emphasized constructive economic development and directly called for improved relations with South Korea. The response from Seoul was lukewarm, as President Park Geun-hye spoke of creating an atmosphere for peaceful reunification in highly vague terms, saying that Pyongyang should first show its sincere attitude toward the denuclearization as a precondition before entering the dialogue phase. In other words, Park Geun-hye’s failure to send a positive response to Kim’s reconciliatory gesture signifies her administration’s commitment to the highly volatile status quo, which results in guaranteed backing of her government by the US military. Washington also stands to gain secondary benefits from the status quo by playing up the “North Korean threat” to justify boosting its military presence in the region, in addition to brokering lucrative defense deals with its regional allies. Washington and Seoul’s preference for the status quo is clear in its insistence on unrealistic preconditions that North Koreans find humiliating and against their legitimate national security interests.

Two senior American diplomats penned a column in The New York Times last year after several unofficial meetings with senior North Korean officials, who offered to consider a phased approach to denuclearization in exchange for a peace treaty with the US and South Korea and the lifting of economic sanctions. The authors alluded to how the Obama administration’s position on preconditions-for-talks has become counterproductive, stating, “Whatever risks might be associated with new talks, they are less than those that come with doing nothing.” Despite the opportunity for talks, the only efforts taken by Washington and Seoul have been to further entrench security policies that infuriate Pyongyang and force it into an aggressive posture. South Korea’s Defense Ministry approved a preemptive strike doctrine last year that allows Seoul to employ conventional strikes, missile defense capabilities and the American nuclear umbrella for preemptive strikes on North Korea, while the US Air Force announced that it would begin flying surveillance drones near North Korea’s borders to gather intelligence data.

Direct engagement with Kim Jong-un

Seoul and Washington’s policies have not yielded any tangible benefits and serve to weaken the likelihood of the six-party talks commencing. Contrary to the doom-and-gloom forecasts of most analysts following the purge of Jang Song-thaek, the political situation in Pyongyang has proved to be rather stable and there is little technical evidence to show that Pyongyang is preparing for another imminent nuclear test or provocation.

Since coming to power in 2011, Kim Jong-un has maintained social stability and has worked to gradually improve living standards through increased emphasis on economic, cultural and social development, with a focus on improving the conditions of women and children. He has also carried forward a handful of politically and strategically significant changes, including reforms of the agricultural sector, that involve reducing collective farm sizes and allowing farmers to hold on to output beyond their production quotas.

Efforts are also being made to decentralize economic decision-making in provinces and enterprises, including measures to allow enterprise managers to retain a surplus and form joint ventures with registered investors. There are indications that Pyongyang is also making greater efforts to ease market access to its special economic zones. Kim has overseen something of a construction boom in various parts of the country, and there is a level of economic well-being emerging that has not been seen since the fall of the Soviet Union. A keen sense of perspective is needed when dealing with North Korea, and as economic reform gains momentum, all parties should encourage legitimate economic exchange as a basis for reconciliation. Chinese state-media recently called for Kim Jong-un to visit Beijing to promote bilateral friendly ties, a visit which is expected to take place this year.

The most effect way for North Korea’s issues to be addressed is through Beijing and also Moscow taking the initiative to pursue high-level engagement directly with Kim Jong-un to get a greater sense of the young leader’s objectives and priorities, and the domestic political situation.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Pak’s fitness a concern for Yun ahead of crunch UAE clash

Pak’s fitness a concern for Yun ahead of crunch UAE clash

Muscat: DPR Korea coach Yun Jong-su is sweating on the fitness of striker Pak Kwang-ryong ahead of Wednesday’s crunch Group B meeting with fellow quarter-final hopefuls the United Arab Emirates at the AFC U-22 Championship.

Pak scored and had a hand in both goals for strike partner Jo Kwang as DPR Korea began the campaign with a 3-1 win over Yemen at the weekend, although the FC Basel striker did have to play for just under an hour with his head swathed in bandages following a first half clash of heads.

And with Pak still affected by the injury during Monday’s 1-0 defeat by Syria which saw DPR Korea slip to third in the Group B table a point off the pace with just one game remaining, Yun is weighing up his options with defeat at Seeb Sports Complex certain to end his side’s campaign at the first hurdle.

“Pak has not totally recovered from his slight injury and he was not fully refreshed for the game against Syria,” said Yun.

“We may make some changes. I will consider the situation and decide after Tuesday’s training session and also by the player’s reaction before I decide what to do in the next match.”

There are also questions marks over the inclusion of goalkeeper An Tae-song after his error handed Syria striker Nasouh Nkd Hle a simple tap-in for the only goal of the game just before the hour mark on Monday.

“I have not decided whether we will stick with the goalkeeper,” added DPR Korea coach Yun.

Having moved a point clear at the top of Group B alongside Syria following their 1-0 win over Yemen on Monday, the unbeaten UAE know they can secure a place in the last eight with a draw against DPR Korea.

But with the UAE looking to finish at the top of the table, coach Ali Ebrahim is planning changes to ensure his side claim all three points.

“We are ready for the next match. We have knowledge of DPR Korea and have one rest day to work on certain aspects especially our physical side,” said the UAE coach.

“We are going to make some changes in certain positions, but in general, we will look to win as we are not going to wait for the other result as that is very risky.”

Fellow Group B table-toppers Syria can also advance to the last eight with a draw against already-eliminated Yemen at Royal Oman Police Stadium, although coach Ahmad Al Shaar will be without influential duo Hamid Mido and Mouaiad Al Ajjan due to suspension.

Central midfielder Mido scored as Syria began their campaign with a 1-1 draw with the UAE, while left-back Al Ajjan provided the cross which created Nkd Hle’s winner against DPR Korea, but yellow cards picked up in both matches mean the pair will miss out on Wednesday.

“The next match is very important,” said Syria coach Al Shaar. “Our aim is to qualify. We will try our best against Yemen and we’ll try to score more in the next match.”

Yemen are unable to advance past the group stage following back-to-back defeats, but coach Abraham Mebratu is eyeing continued improvements against Syria having seen his side produce a hard-fought display against the UAE.

“I hope that from game-to-game we will get better. Our main objective is to prepare the senior national team players for the future so this will help them get more international experience,” said Yemen’s Ethiopian coach.

“We will take the last match seriously and play to show a better performance than in the second game.”

Tre trasferimenti per i Zainichi

La KSAJ annuncia tre trasferimenti fra i calciatori Zainichi.
Come già annunciato An Yong-Hak (35 anni) firma per l’FC Yokohama, Ri Han-Jae (31 anni) per l’FC Machida Zerubia, entrambe nella nuova JLeague 3divisione.
Il terzo trasferimento riguarda Kim Song-Gi (25 anni), difensore e nuovo acquisto del Mito Hollyhock. La squadra di Mito gioca nella JLeague 2divisione.



RPDC – Siria: il commento di Michele

Vista la partita, in quanto a tattica i Coreani erano sicuramente più bravi: in diverse occasioni capitava di vedere il centrocampo fare passaggi precisi e calcolati o triangolazioni che spiazzavano i Siriani. E’ mancata invece la grinta, la squadra generale sembrava un pò sotto-tono (inclusi gli attaccanti che in teoria dovrebbero essere le punte di diamante: oltretutto Pak Kwang-Ryong è andato in gioco con una fasciatura, segno che l’impatto di due giorni fa ha lasciato ancora dei segni) e i Siriani erano al contrario decisamente infiammati con parecchi “sprint” a cui i Coreani non rispondevano con uguale velocità. A far pendere l’ago della bilancia è stato anche il portiere che oltre all’errore per il goal subito è stato vicino a fare qualche altro pasticcio.