Angry South Koreans protest as ship from North carrying Olympians docks at Donghae City

An anti-North Korean protester holds a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un as others wave flags and shout slogans as a ferry carrying a North Korean art troupe for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games approaches the port of Mukho in Donghae on February 6, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2018
0

Angry South Koreans protest as ship from North carrying Olympians docks at Donghae City

MUKHO: Hundreds of angry South Koreans protested Tuesday as a ship from North Korea carrying around 120 performers bound for the Olympics docked at the port of Donghae City.
Some were carrying pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with a huge X across his face while others crumpled the images and stamped them underfoot.
“We are at a state of war and we are inviting the prostitutes of our enemy,” one of the protesters said as the North Korean ship ‘Mangyongbon 92’ docked at Mukho port
A second wave of North Koreans, including a group of 229 cheerleaders, who have been the object of media fascination on past visits over the border, are expected to arrive in the South on Wednesday.
As the North Korean ship approached the dock, the protesters waving South Korean flags, marched around the port chanting into amplified speakers: “We oppose Pyongyang Olympics!“
“Why can’t we carry our own flag at the opening ceremony — because it’s Pyongyang Olympics!” a protester who came from Incheon told AFP.
North and South Korea will march as a unified team under a neutral Korean peninsula flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday.
Protesters believe North Korea has been allowed to hijack the Pyeongchang Games, and refer to them instead as the Pyongyang Olympics after the North Korean capital.
The Olympics have triggered an apparent rapprochement on the divided peninsula, where tensions have been high over the nuclear-armed North’s weapons ambitions.
In a rare high-level meeting last month, the two Koreas agreed that North Korean athletes, cheerleaders, artistic troupes and other delegates would attend the Games.
Twenty two North Korean atheletes have been invited to take part including figure skaters, ice hockey players, cross country and Alpine skiers.
The art troupe were seen off on their journey to the South on Monday from a train station in Pyongyang by officials including supreme leader Kim Jong-Un’s sister, Yo-Jong, smiling broadly and wearing a black coat and grey fur scarf.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the art troupe, led by Hyon Song-Wol, head of the Samjiyon Orchestra, would hold a “congratulatory performance” for the Games in South Korea.
The orchestra is scheduled to hold two performances at the Gangneung Art Center on the eve of the opening ceremony of the February 9-25 Pyeongchang Olympics and at the National Theatre of Korea in Seoul on February 11.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North, said the cheerleaders would arrive Wednesday crossing the land border north of Seoul in the morning,accompanied by 26 taekwondo demonstrators, 21 journalists, and four officials from North Korea’s national Olympic committee, including the sports minister.
The group will stay at a remote mountain resort about two hours drive from the Pyeongchang Olympic stadium.


Dutch cap Europe’s World Cup dominance by ousting Japan

Updated 26 June 2019
0

Dutch cap Europe’s World Cup dominance by ousting Japan

  • The reigning European champions will need to maintain that composure as they prepare for a meeting with Italy

RENNES, France: Tears were still flowing from Saki Kumagai’s eyes more than 30 minutes later.
With victorious Dutch rivals passing her on the way out of the stadium, Japan’s captain seemed to find solace in speaking about the penalty long after it cost her team a place in the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup.
With Tuesday night’s game entering the 90th minute locked at 1-1, Kumagai’s outstretched left arm blocked the shot Vivianne Miedema had aimed into the right side of the net.
“It had my hand for sure,” Kumagai said. “It’s difficult to accept but it’s also sad. I know that is football.”
Referee Melissa Borjas pointed to the penalty spot and Lieke Martens netted her second goal of the game in the 90th minute to seal a 2-1 victory that sent the Netherlands into the quarterfinals for the first time.
“We have made history,” Martens said. “I’m not usually taking the penalties but I felt really good this game. I asked Sherida Spitse if I could take it and she gave it directly to me and I felt quite relaxed about it.”
The reigning European champions will need to maintain that composure as they prepare for a meeting with Italy on Saturday after going one stage further than their Women’s World Cup debut four years ago.
“We were standing in the circle after the match and we were so happy, yelling at each other,” Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman said. “We were saying, ‘Let’s continue writing history.’“
It is journey’s end for Japan, which won the 2011 tournament and was the runner-up four years later.
The strength of the second-half display counted for nothing.
As befitting a meeting of the Asian and European champions, the game produced some of the slickest action of the World Cup. A backheel flick set up Martens to send the Dutch in front in the 17th minute and Yui Hasegawa equalized in the 43rd to complete a slick passing move.
But the post, crossbar and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal thwarted Japan’s pursuit of a winning goal.
“I think we lacked the clinical edge,” Japan coach Asako Takakura said. “We have to accept the result, we’re defeated, we’re very disappointed and for all the players I feel very sorry for them and frustrated.”
With the last Asian team eliminated, the Women’s World Cup will have a record seven European teams in the quarterfinals. Norway and England meet in Le Havre on Thursday and France takes on the United States the following night. After the Netherlands plays Italy on Saturday, Germany and Sweden will meet.
“It’s really tough to be here,” Netherlands forward Miedema said. “Sometimes it kind of feels like a Euros.”
That is a title already won by this team, thanks to Miedema’s goals in the final two years ago on home soil.
The fans won’t have far to travel for the World Cup quarterfinal, with Valenciennes around two hours’ drive from the Netherlands.
It will be another chance for the orange-clad fans who danced and sang their way in a convoy to the stadium on Tuesday to stamp their mark on this tournament.
They were certainly given a game to savor, and an audacious opening goal.
Martens flicked in the opener after evading her marker to meet a corner and send the ball through the legs of Yuika Sugasawa into the net.
Sugasawa had a quick chance to tie, only to hit the post. But Japan did equalize by completing an intricate move.
Hina Sugita squared across the penalty area to Yuika Sugasawa, who passed back to Mana Iwabuchi on the edge of the penalty area. After holding off Jackie Groenen on the turn, Iwabuchi slipped the ball through to Hasegawa, who was free to delicately dink a shot over Van Veenendaal into the corner of the net.
It was some way to make the most of a first shot on target for a team that failed to score in two of its three group stage games.
But parity nearly didn’t last long.
Miedema received the ball from Shanice van de Sanden but with only Ayaka Yamashita to beat struck straight at the Japan goalkeeper.
Van Veenendaal came to the rescue of the Dutch in the second half by denying Emi Nakajima as Japan chased the winner.
“Japan is a world class team and you saw that today,” Miedema said. “In the second half you can see they have loads of quality on the pitch.”