North Korea Wants to Be a ‘Sports Power’

By Patrick Burke | December 7, 2012 | 3:35 PM EST

(AP Photo)

( -- An article from the North Korean news agency KCNA announced the Workers’ Party of Korea’s [WPK] desire to integrate sports into the daily life of North Koreans and make North Korea a “sports power.”

The WPK believes that North Korea’s global image would be bolstered if its citizens play more sports.

“The on-going advance to build the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] into a sports power provides a worthwhile patriotic stage for augmenting the national power in every way and demonstrating the indomitable spirit and dignity of Songun Korea before the whole world,” according to a Dec. 7 article authored by Nodong Sinmun, as reported by KCNA via BBC Monitoring.

“There should be a signal turn in the effort to create social atmosphere of sports, popularize sports and make it part of people's daily life, bring sports science and technology up to the world level and train reserves for players under a long-term plan, intensify the training of players, reenergize domestic sports contests and improve the material supply service to the field of sports,” the article says.

Becoming a sports power would also be a great way for citizens to show “the honor of being victors” and “ardent patriotism” towards North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

The article added that, “There is, therefore, no goal unattainable when all fields and units raise a hot wind of sports under the banner of great Kim Jong Il's patriotism.”

In this April 15, 2012 file photo, a North Korean vehicle carrying what appears to be a new missile passes by during a mass military parade in the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang to celebrate 100 years since the birth of the late North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

Communist North Korea has raised the concern of the United States and DPRK’s neighboring countries because of its plans to conduct a missile launch later this month.

On Thursday, Pacific Commander Admiral Samuel Locklear said the United States  thinks the launch will take place on December 17,  and it is North Korea’s way of displaying its missile technology to the world.

“Our assessment is that their desire to continue down this road is motivated by their desire to ensure that their capability -- and they're now a self-proclaimed nuclear state -- their ability to be able to demonstrate to the world that they have the capacity to be able to build missiles and have the missile technology to be able to use it in ways of their choosing down the road,” Locklear said during a press briefing at the Pentagon.

“And this, as I said earlier, would be very destabilizing, I think, to the -- not only to the region, but to the international security environment,” he said.