11/13/2012, 00.00
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Not just football: the Kim family "is the best" even in volleyball

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
At the last World Cup the press conferences of the coach of the national team of North Korea made headlines, according to whom it was Kim Jong-il who managed the team (but only in victories). Now his son takes up the challenge, but on the volleyball court.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The Kim family's passion for sport of is well known, but now after soccer (the great passion of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il's son) it seems to be time for volleyball. The KCNA, the official press agency of the regime, in fact this morning published a photo depicting the new dictator Kim Jong-un (the third son and Jong-il's heir), his wife Ri Sol-joo and even a group of Generals in attendance at a women's volleyball match. In the picture published above, it is clear - and stated in the article - that Kim is giving precise instructions to the players to "win every match."

Despite what many may think, even North Korea - like all great dictatorships - reserve a lot of space and resources to sport. Although plagued by an unprecedented economic crisis, and being forced to live with a handful of rice a day, the people of North Korea follow competitions involving national athletes with great enthusiasm. During the last World Cup, the draw with Brazil led to a spontaneous outburst in a country where joyful events seldom occur.

On that occasion, the press conference the coach of North Korea made headlines, during which he declared that it was Kim Jong-il to lead the team: "With an invisible electronic device of his own invention, our dear leader tells me what to do" . The next 7 to 1 against Portugal was instead the fault of the coach and the team, who were subjected to a public trial back home. In any case, the North Korean athletes are also distinguished in many Olympic specialties, from weight lifting to judo.

The latest Kim seems to have chosen volleyball instead. Together with his wife, whom sources increasingly claim is pregnant, he explained to the players "the method of uniting revolution to the game, paving the way for countless victories." On the other hand, the agency concludes, "do not be surprised of these skills, since the Kim family is the best in every sport."

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