What Happens Now to the North Korean Soccer Team?

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REUTERS/Oleg Popov

After an embarrassing 7-0 drubbing by Portugal yesterday, will the North Korean soccer team have to face the wrath of Kim Jong Il?

Over at TIME’s World Cup blog, Hannah Beech explores whether the North Korean team will face punishment for their poor showing in the World Cup. Labor camps? Executions? Is it really that bleak?

“It’s not a completely crazy question. This is a nation where Dear Leader Kim Jong Il and his henchmen have killed people for far slighter transgressions than a rout on the football world stage. For the first time ever, the Portugal-North Korea match was broadcast live on North Korean television. Imagine the toe-curling embarrassment in Pyongyang when Portugal deposited North Korea in deep, deep kimchi. Leading up to the World Cup, Coach Kim told the world: “Perhaps there is no other team in the world who would be fighting with the same dedication to please the leader and to bring fame to their motherland.” A displeased Dear Leader and World Cup infamy surely wasn’t what Coach Kim was imagining.”

Read the full post over at TIME’s World Cup blog.