S.Korea get unexpected support


SEOUL, June 15- North Koreans cheered South Korea's victory over Greece in their opening World Cup match despite political tensions between the two countries, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper reported Tuesday."The match where compatriots played has drawn great attention," said the Chosun Sinbo, published in Tokyo. "The (Pyongyang) residents, without an exception, cheered for the South Korean team."

South Korea comfortably beat Greece 2-0 in their first group match on Saturday.

North Korea, who have qualified for the first time in 44 years, meet Brazil early Wednesday Korea time.

The North has aired delayed World Cup footage on its official television station despite failing to secure broadcasting rights.

Chosun Sinbo, which normally reflects official thinking, said North Koreans were "riveted" while watching the games aired for most of Sunday.

"Who would like to see a nation with the same bloodline lose?" the paper quoted one person as saying. "What we detest is not the South Korean people" but their conservative government.

Cross-border relations are at their worst for years after the South accused the North of sinking one of its warships in March. The North denies involvement and says Seoul’s reprisals could spark war.

South Korea’s SBS TV station, which says it has the World Cup broadcasting rights for the whole peninsula, failed to reach agreement with the North about showing the games amid the political tensions.

It was unclear where the North obtained its footage.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday from South Africa that the sport’s governing body FIFA had signed a deal to try to air the games live in the North.

It said FIFA had reached an agreement with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. There was no immediate confirmation.