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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

What’s That Rocketing into the North Korean Sky? A Baseball (WSJ)

Curtis Melvin, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, was poring over commercial satellite images of North Korea last year when he came across a patch of dirt with what appeared to be four bases, a pitcher’s mound and an outfield.

What surprised Mr. Melvin even more: “It was being used.”

What’s That Rocketing Into the North Korean Sky? A Baseball! 
Mr. Melvin has spent more than a decade exploring every nook and cranny of the isolated country through satellite imagery. He says the baseball diamond near the port city of Nampo, about 30 miles southwest of Pyongyang, was the only one he has ever seen in use in North Korea.

The puzzle resurfaced last month following the dramatic defection of a North Korean soldier at the heavily guarded Joint Security Area on the border between north and south.

After taking at least five bullets, the soldier was rushed to a hospital, where he was provided with a steady stream of K-pop music and Hollywood movies to comfort him during his recovery. In ensuing conversations, chief surgeon Lee Cook-jong told the press, he was surprised to learn that the soldier appeared to know the rules of baseball but nothing about baseball teams in the U.S., South Korea or Japan.

That America’s pastime is being enjoyed at all in North Korea, one of the world’s fiercest opponents of Yankee culture, may appear counterintuitive. Look closer, however, and there are clues all around.

Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: January 02, 2018 at 11:14 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: asian baseball, korean baseball, nuclear war

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