SEOUL, June 17 (UPI) -- The reclusive country of North Korea, infamous for protecting its citizens from exposure to the outside world, is airing taped versions of the World Cup.
Saturday's match between England and Italy was shown on Monday. Thursday's opening ceremony and Brazil-Croatia game was aired a day late.
It seems that the games aired via state-run Korean Central Television took footage from a South Korean broadcaster and blurred the company name on the screen.
South Korean media reported that the controlled airing of the World Cup games "reflects the increased popularity of the sport there."
At a United Nations event last week, North Korean diplomat Ri Tong-il commented on World Cup fever, saying "isn't everyone very interested in the World Cup regardless of their country's participation in it?"
North Korea's soccer team did not qualify for the World Cup.