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North Korean Golfers Seen Wearing Nike Gear: Contraband or Elite Privilege?

Daniel Kim Views  

Players were spotted wearing pants and shoes with the Nike logo at the spring golf enthusiast competition held at the Pyongyang Golf Course in North Korea from the 7th to the 9th. The Nike logo was visible below the pocket of a man swinging a golf club in a match broadcast by Chosun Central TV on the 12th. [Chosun Central TV screen/Yonhap News]

Despite North Korea’s strong anti-American stance and rhetoric, the influx of American sports brand Nike could not be entirely prevented.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on the 21st that from the 7th to the 9th of the spring golf tournament at the Pyongyang Golf Course, players were seen wearing pants and shoes with the Nike logo.

In the match broadcast by Chosun Central TV on the 12th, a man was shown swinging a golf club with the Nike logo visible below his pants pocket. Another player’s shoes also featured the Nike logo.

The photos shown by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on the 26th of last month depicted a man getting out of a golf cart with a Nike logo on his shirt pocket, highlighting the popularity of the Pyongyang Golf Course.

Sports equipment is classified as luxury goods under UN Security Council Resolution 2270, which bans the transfer of such items to North Korea. Therefore, it is unlikely that Nike will export these products to North Korea.

Most people who enjoy golf in North Korea are from the upper class. It is possible that these individuals purchased Nike products during their overseas trips for official duties and subsequently spread among the elite.

However, based on the footage and photos of North Korean media, it is impossible to confirm whether the clothes and shoes worn are genuine Nike products or counterfeit items produced in North Korea or a third country. [Yonhap News]

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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