English Reading Practice
North Korea is a country on the Korean Peninsula. A
"peninsula" is a piece of land that has water on three
sides. It shares a
border with South Korea.
These used to be one country but in 1945,
after World War Two, they were divided into two countries.
The two countries have very similar histories until 1945 but have
become very different in the years since then.
North Korea has been a very isolated country. "Isolated" means alone.
It has developed without much influence from the Western world. North
Korea's closest ally is China. An "ally" is a friend. Because North
Korea has been so isolated, not very much is known about the country
and its culture.
Even though North Korea has kept to itself mostly, it has developed its
own art and sports culture that are very important to the North Korean
people. Sports games and performances are some of the only times that
the North Koreans welcome people from other countries to watch or
Sports in North Korea
One very important display of North Korean art and sports happens
during a festival called the Arirang Festival. A "display" is a show.
This festival includes different sports including soccer and a
performance called the Mass Games.
The Mass Games are held every year and sometimes twice a year – once in
the Fall and once in the Spring. They celebrate national holidays like
the birthday of the leader of North Korea.
These games feature over 100,000 people performing gymnastics for an
hour and a half. In addition to gymnastics, the participants also
perform dance, acrobatics, music, and drama. "Participants" means the
people involved in the games. All the participants move together in
synchronized movements. "Synchronized" means at the same time.
The Mass Games are held a few nights a week during the festival times.
Another major sport in North Korea is soccer. Soccer is called football
in other parts of the world, including North Korea. During the Arirang
Festival, fifteen different soccer teams compete in the festival. These
teams also compete in worldwide competitions.
Another place where North Korean athletes participate is in the
Olympics. North Korean teams compete in most sports at the Olympics
including soccer, martial arts, wrestling, volleyball, and gymnastics.
They have won a number of medals including some gold medals at the
North Korea has a very rich history. Much of the more recent history is
not known outside of North Korea. Hopefully this will change in the
future and we will know more about North Korean culture, history, and
And now, practice:
North Korea - Exercises
1. What does "isolated" mean?
b) with many friends
c) with some friends
2. What does "ally" mean?
a) another country
b) another person
c) a friend
d) a neighbor
3. What does "display" mean?
a) a country
b) a sport
a) a show
b) a person
1. North Korea is a country on the Korean Peninsula
2. Every year, the games ________ national holidays like the birthday
of the leader of North Korea.
c) have celebrated
d) will celebrate
3. North Korea has ________ very rich history.
1. What country is an ally of North Korea?
2. What activity do participants perform during the Mass Games?
3. What sports do the North Koreans complete in worldwide?