Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jong Tae-Se

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - From behind closed doors, tight lips, and heavy-handed rule, a soccer star may be emerging.

His name is Jong Tae-Se and, other than his nation's infamous leader Kim Jong II, he could become the world's most recognizable North Korean. Despite constant accusation that he is not North Korean enough - he was born and raised in Japan though he isn't Japanese; his mother is South Korean yet he plays for North Korea; he holds a North Korean passport yet has never lived there - Jong is a couple of goals from delivering to the world a North Korean sports star.

Essentially, Jong straddles three countries: North Korea, South Korea, and Japan.

He does this fashionably.

He is his country's 26-year-old striker, "the People's Rooney" (an allusion to England's Wayne Rooney), a young man who speaks his mind and plays to score. He keeps a blog, listens to rap, drives a silver Hummer, and wants to play in the English Premier League. FULL STORY