(Satire) - North Korea's national soccer team has ridden the divine efforts of their Dear Leader, Kim Jung Il, to a spot in the 2010 World Cup, their first appearance in forty-four years.
Following a scoreless draw with Saudia Arabia, in which an early red card forced the squad to suffice with only ten men, the East Asian nation secured the fourth and final allocated slot.
"We have counted so heavily upon Jong [Tae-Se], who has scored thirteen goals for us in this tournament," explained goalkeeper Ri Myong-Guk through a translator, "he has brought great experience to our team."
"But our most valuable player," added Ri, "was the Dear Leader, who has struck fear in the hearts of our terrified opponents, and provided greater defense than a thousand fullbacks and ten million goalkeepers."
Coach Kim-Jong Hun, whose team performed surprisingly well after failing to enter the 2007 Asian Cup, added that he was "Impressed with the vigor of my entire team. We had only ten men on the field for most of the match, which provided many tactical complications."
Fortunately, the coach received several critical coaching tips from the Dear Leader who, "was constantly explaining soccer strategy to me over the phone while the match commenced."
According to the coach, all North Korean citizens are equipped with invisible cell phones that fit entirely within their inner ear canals. This technology does not yet exist in the West, because it was invented by the Dear Leader.
Many Saudi Arabian supporters were caught off-guard by the Democratic People's Republic, which has played very little international competition since appearing in the Quarter Finals of the 1966 tournament in England.
Veteran fullback Redha Tukar, who has earned seventy five caps to date, complimented his opponents on a competitive match.
"We absolutely did not pre-arrange this draw in order to both avoid elimination," he said, adding that "neither of our nations have any reason to despise those swine in Iran who have disgraced the beliefs of us Saudis for nearly thirteen centuries and overshadowed the nuclear achievements of our North Korean friends."
Coach Hun also explained that, "the people of my glorious Republic scoff at Supreme Leader [Khameini], because our Dear Leader is both more Supreme and one thousand times more glorious according to the heavens. How will the Iranian cowards refrain from sobbing upon learning this?"
Hun cited internal reports that nearly a million Tehranian soccer fans have groveled in shame for a week upon learning that they must compete against the inexorable Dear Leader.
The streets of Pyongyang were expected to swell with soccer fanatics following their team's historic advancement. Hundreds of thousands planned to amass before the Workers Party of Korea Monument, where soccer victories are traditionally celebrated. However, the explicit exclusion of the elderly, party outsiders, undernourished children, pregnant women, rural outcasts, active soldiers, the unemployed, kidnapped foreigners, and young men deemed unfit for military service, has prevented all but eleven people from celebrating publicly.
The game was broadcast live on one of North Korea's three working televisions, and the scoreless draw ensured that none of the fanfare was diminished by a forty-one minute outage that accompanied a city-wide blackout.
"Our glorious leader removed the least interesting portion of this game so that his people could work without distraction. Our factories are the envy of all nations, and our warships frighten all but the Dear Leader himself," shouted one enthusiastic supporter.
North Korean crops are believed to grow more bountifully when the national soccer team achieves victory, and rice presumably harvests itself when the Dear Leader deems it appropriate for his team to score many goals. Such indicators suggest that North Korea will be the most economically robust nation on the planet — stronger than one million Americas — by the time the tournament kicks into gear next summer.
The final draw for the 2010 World Cup, to be held in South Africa, will take place on December 4th in Cape Town.