The football doesn't stop!

The 2014 SWC might be over, but the PSL and English Premiership are around the corner! Have your say on our Forum!

N.Korea send SWC workers

2010-03-15 08:28

Seoul - North Korea has sent around 1 000 workers to South Africa to help build or renovate stadiums hosting the upcoming World Cup football tournament, South Korean media reports said on Monday.

The sanctions-hit state has sent the workers ahead of the June opening of the event, in which its own football team will participate, in an apparent attempt to earn much-needed hard currency, the JoongAng Daily newspaper said.

It said the North Koreans are working at four to five stadiums, including Soccer City in Johannesburg, where the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the final will be staged.

"The North's government will likely demand loyalty from those workers and collect their wages to add to their foreign currency reserve," a Seoul government official told the paper.

Yonhap news agency carried a similar report.

"It appears to be related to the efforts North Korea is increasingly making to earn foreign currency," a source told the agency.

The country's economic difficulties have deepened since it went ahead with a second nuclear test last May and triggered tougher UN sanctions, which banned lucrative weapons exports.

A bungled currency revaluation last November is widely reported to have worsened food shortages and fuelled inflation.

The reports did not say how much the South African government, which has set aside 12 billion rand (around 1.6 billion dollars) to prepare 10 World Cup stadiums, is paying the North Koreans.

In Senegal, North Korean workers are helping to build a 160-foot, 22-million dollar "African Renaissance Monument."

Outside Africa the North has up to 30 000 workers in China, Russia and some Middle Eastern countries, according to JoongAng.

North Korea's football team has qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1966, when it reached the quarter-finals in England. South Korea will also take part in the tournament.

More In This Category

Thierry Henry would never consider playing for France again even if new coach and former teammate Laurent Blanc asked him to.
An emotional Diego Maradona says he was betrayed as Argentina coach by national team director Carlos Bilardo.
Carlos Alberto Parreira has left South Africa at the end of his contract with Bafana Bafana, headed for his home in Rio de Janeiro.
Ghana defender John Mensah has refuted claims of a spat with the Ghana Football Association over unpaid Soccer World Cup bonuses.
Comments
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
15 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk