Friday 13 December 2019

YouTube users duped by spoof broadcast announcing that North Korea made the World Cup final

Jack Simpson

Netherlands five….Spain one. Germany seven…Brazil one….Wayne Rooney scoring a World Cup goal.

This World Cup has been a tournament full of surprises, but the closing days of the tournament nearly prompted the biggest of them all.

General consensus says the final was between Germany and Argentina.

However, according to one YouTube video, last night’s final was a head-to-head between Portugal and footballing powerhouse North Korea.

A number of YouTube users have been duped by a spoof video that appears to show a North Korean news broadcast announcing that the national football team had made it to the World Cup final.

The heavily edited video, which was uploaded on the YouTube channel Korea News on 11 July, shows a female news anchor from one of the country’s state run news channels explain to viewers that North Korea had made it to the World Cup final and would be playing a Portugal team led by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The video then purports to show ‘semi-final’ game footage of North Korea playing in a half empty stadium against what seems to be a fellow Asian football minnow, Brazil fans going crazy at one of the North Korean goals and Kim Jong-un appearing on a big screen in front of a crowd of what seem to be adoring Chile, or Costa Rica, fans.

If that was not enough of a hint that the video’s makers might be pulling viewers' legs, it then presents a summary of the national team’s group stage matches which have them conveniently beating Japan 7 – 0, China 2 – 0 and capitalist enemies USA 4 – 0.

According to Yahoo Sports, the dialect of the voice over is not only wrong but the news anchor’s voice is completely out of synch with her lips.

There is also the small issue that, despite North Korea’s infamous media censorship, North Korean television channels are actually broadcasting World Cup matches, albeit sometimes 24 hours after the games have taken place.

While in this case the video is clearly a fake, the North Korea government has been known in the past to bend the truth when it comes to sports.

At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the North Korean government paid Chinese actors to pose as North Koreans and ensure the country had some support at the tournament.

And then there is the well-known legend of Kim Jong-il, "The World’s Best Golfer”, who once shot an impressive 34 on an 18-hole golf course.

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