2 Brisbane hackers enter North Korea by posing as Australian golf delegation

By @vitthernandez on
Evan Shay & Morgan Ruig
The two photo sessions at landmarks such as statues of dictators Kim Jong-Un and Kim Jong-II where they brought bouquet of flowers to the Mansudae Grand Monument. Facebook/Evan Shay

Two Brisbane men took advantage of a polo tour in China to participate in the North Korean Amateur Golf Championships by sending an email to the event organisers. Morgan Ruig and Evan Shay told authorities they were the official team sent by Australia to the tournament.

They wore green blazers to look like the official delegation which gave them perks such as being taken on an official tour of Pyongyang, photo sessions at landmarks such as statues of dictators Kim Jong-Un and Kim Jong-II where they brought bouquet of flowers to the Mansudae Grand Monument and chaperones for the five-day trip, although the tournament was only on Oct 8 and 9. However, they had to surrender their passports upon entry to the totalitarian state, 9News reports.

The tournament was held at the Pyongyang Golf complex, the only golf course in the communist state, with 85 international participants. However, while the real golfers were playing off a scratch handicap or single figures, Ruig and Shay’s lack of golfing skills was evident during the event that a North Korean told them “they brought shame on their families.”

Ruig recounts he shot a 120, or 50 strokes above par. However, he was not the cellar dweller since the 85th place holder was the 15-year-old daughter of the Nepalese ambassador, ABC reports.

Shay, a builder, believes because of the limited internet access in North Korea, organisers of the golf tournament did not have opportunities to research on the tourney participants. But the two admit they were very nervous when they turned over their passports at the border upon arrival because of stories they read about people not leaving North Korea.

However, because they successfully pulled off the prank, the duo are planning on crashing next the Somalia national golf open, says Ruig.