Playing in Pyongyang: North Korea
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your football life?
My name is Ri. I am from North Korea and am a guide with Koryo Tours. I’m not much of a football fan, I will sometimes watch it on TV though, and attend some games with tourists in Pyongyang also. I prefer basketball, and playing volleyball.
Who is in the photos?
Two teams were playing at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, during the Pyongyang Marathon in April 2019.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with the photos?
I am very busy as a guide. On this day there was football happening during the Marathon, which starts in the stadium, so I had the chance to take photos up close. I just tried to show some action.
Are there any good stories connected with the people or teams you photographed?
I’m sure there are good stories. But I don’t know any!
Why is football so important for North Korea and its people?
It’s the most popular sport for people to watch and we have had a lot of success with our women’s teams during the last few years. We hope the men’s team has the same success eventually.
What role does football play in North Korean society?
It is popular, but many people only pay a little attention to it. It isn’t as important as in some other places like England or Germany.
What is the future for North Korean football?
There has been a lot of investment recently and a new football school opened in Pyongyang. Hopefully there will be some more international success!