Trump-Kim summit bigger international show of North Korea than its 1966 WC result?
Tuesday, June 12, saw North Korea - a hermit state in international relations - accomplishing a major diplomatic feat by attending a state meeting with the United States - one of its Cold War enemies. Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un met US President Donald Trump at the Capello Hotel in Singapore to register first of such instance where a North Korean leader met directly with a sitting American president.
The realistic outcomes of the photogenic summit where North Korea pledged to complete denuclearisation in lieu of the US's guaranteeing its security but there is no doubt that the event established itself as the highest point of international performance by North Korea.
52 years ago, N Korea had accomplished another international glory
The Singapore summit eclipsed the North's best show on the international show so far and it was its impressive run in the football world cup in England in 1966. That year, North Korea defeated top teams like Italy and drew with Chile to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
In one of the most captivating quarter-finals, North Korea were leading Hungary 3-0 at the 25th minute of the game but still could not win the game, thanks to the marvel of a talented player called Eusebio who scored four times thereafter to give Hungary a 5-3 victory and take them to the semifinals.
The record of North Korea, who was ruled by Kim Il-sung - the grandfather of Kim Jong-un - however, remained the best for Asia for 36 years, when in 2002, South Korea eclipsed it by advancing to the semi-finals of the world cup which was hosted jointly by them and Japan. South Korea finished fourth on the occasion and this remains the best performance by an Asian side at the prestigious tournament.
N Korean dictators allowed live broadcast of their 2010 game against Portugal
North Korea's last appearance in the world cup occurred in 2010 but they were annihilated 7-0 by the same Portugal, ending their dreams of making it further. It was also a moment when the country's proud repressive regime allowed an unprecedented live broadcast in its own country - a rare occurrence - though the end result of the game was disastrous. It nevertheless allowed the people of the isolated nation to hear something about the outside world. It was said that the then leader of North Korea - Kim Jong-Il-the father of Kim, used to advise the team's football coach regularly about the game and its tactics.