(Korea DKR – they train econo)

The Guardian’s Marina Hyde was fortunate enough to attend a press conference yesterday conducted by North Korea’s head coach Kim Jong-hun, and team media officer, Kim Myung-chui in advance of their Tuesday Group G match with Brazil. Sadly, a FIFA edict that “questions that intersect politics with football” were verboten meant Ms. Hyde was prevented from airing the million dollar stumper, “be honest, you did sink that ship, didn’t you?”

Who picks the team “ the coach or Kim Jong-il? Silence. Will North Korea be pursuing the same counterattack strategy they pursued in qualifying? “I believe,” replied an icy Kim Jong-hun, “that we are the Korean DPR, so please do not use any other name for us.” Alas, it’s that easy to forfeit the chance to have your anodyne query left tantalisingly unanswered. As for their goal in the tournament: “This will bring great happiness to our Dear Leader.” It would be screamingly funny, of course, were it not taking place on the very the day it emerged that His Dearness had cut off all state food rations to his people.

To more important matters, though, such as North Korea’s attempt to fiddle Fifa rules by listing an extra striker as a goalkeeper “ a ruse on which they have been rumbled, meaning Kim Myong‘won will now have to play as a keeper or not at all. “He was a striker and now he’s registered as a goalkeeper,” said Kim, tersely. “He is really a goalkeeper but he’s really fast, so we switched him to a striker ¦ But this World Cup, he said he wanted to be a goalkeeper again.”