Coach since 2008
It’s said that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-il, gave advice the coach on how to reach the finals. Kim Jong-hun says: “Perhaps there’s no other team in the world who would be fighting with the same dedication to please the leader bring fame to their motherland.”
10 caps 0 goals
Previously held down the position between the post before the graduation of Ri Myong-guk to the national side and he remains a capable deputy, who gained a significant amount of experience during North Korea’s failed attempt to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.
9 caps 0 goals
Actually a striker, but was named as one of the three designated goalkeepers after North Korea named just two keepers in their 23-man squad. Will not be allowed to play outfield during the tournament.
27 caps 0 goals
Established himself as the leading goalkeeper for North Korea with a series of fine displays throughout Asia’s qualifying tournament for the World Cup finals. Although not the most commanding in the air, his reflexes are sharp and he’s a solid shot-stopper.
27 caps 0 goals
Having already made a brief appearance in the qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup campaign, by the time qualifying for 2010 had come round he had established himself as a regular in the country’s starting line-up. Plays his club football for Amrokgang, where he won the North Korean league title in 2007.
23 caps 0 goals
One of the veterans of a team made up by an increasing number of North Korea’s burgeoning young talent. The left wing-back, who was also involved in his country’s attempt to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, only returned to the team in the latter stages of qualifying for South Africa, but his experience proved invaluable.
32 caps 1 goal
Another stalwart of the North Korean team, he shared the role of captain with Hong Yong-jo during the qualifying rounds for South Africa and is the national side’s regular on the left side of the of the five-man defence.
31 caps 0 goals
Despite his relatively young age, the central defender is one of the most experienced players in the North Korean squad having featured in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers as well as in the majority of matches in the lead-up to South Africa.
12 caps 0 goals
Young defender who has established himself as a regular member of the squad despite his youth. He anchored his country’s defence at the East Asian Games in Hong Kong in December 2009 and has been a regular member of Kim Jong-hun’s squad although has yet to break into the starting line-up on a consistent basis.
35 caps 0 goals
Has been an ever-present in Kim Jong-hun’s team throughout qualifying for the World Cup, playing in all 16 of North Korea’s qualifiers along the road to South Africa. Ri is usually employed as a sweeper, from where he marshals the team’s defence.
38 caps 1 goal
A regular at the heart of North Korea’s defence throughout qualifying for the World Cup finals in South Africa, he is one of the first names on the teamsheet for Kim Jong-hun. Ri has played in more than 25 World Cup qualifiers for North Korea after also featuring during the failed attempt to qualify for Germany 2006.
15 caps 0 goals
A graduate of North Korea’s youth system that has, in recent years, produced a steady stream of players capable of performing well at Asian level. He was a member of the team that represented North Korea at the Under-20 World Youth Cup in 2007 and was a squad member for much of the qualifying campaign for the World Cup.
Omiya Ardija (Jap)
22 caps 2 goals
Japan-born central midfielder who caused controversy in North Korea when he moved from Japan – where he was playing for Nagoya Grampus – to join South Korean side Busan I’Park. An spent four seasons in the K-League, also playing for two seasons at Suwon Bluewings, before returning to Japan with Omiya Ardija.
7 caps 0 goals
Has come through the ranks of the North Korean youth system, graduating to the full national side after playing at both the Under-17 world championship in 2005 and the 2007 Under-20 World Youth Cup. Has largely been a squad player rather than a regular in Kim Jong-hun’s starting line-up.
53 caps 7 goals
One of the few players from North Korea to have moved from the Stalinist nation to play overseas, he joined Chinese second division side Yanbian from Pyongyang in 2006. He joined Chengdu Blades in 2008 and spent one season in the Chinese Super League before being released.
22 caps 5 goals
Another of the veterans of the North Korean side, he is the engine room of the midfield. Hard working and dynamic, he has been at the heart of the team since North Korea made their return to the sharp end of Asian football following the 2002 World Cup.
35 caps 5 goals
Not to be confused with the young defender with the same name, he established himself in the North Korean midfield back in 2005 during the qualifying tournament for the previous World Cup. Made 11 appearances for Kim Jong-hun’s team along the road to South Africa and is one of the coach’s most trusted lieutenants.
3 caps 0 goals
13 caps 1 goal
Was a member of the North Korea side that finished as runners-up in the Asian Under-17 championship in 2004. Scored in the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup against Kyrgyzstan.
18 caps 10 goals
Once scored four goals for North Korea against Guam in an East Asian Championship game but, despite that haul, he would not normally be considered a regular in the team’s starting line-up. Usually used off the bench, from where he made all but one of his appearances during qualifying.
16 caps 5 goals
A rare starter for the North Koreans, he has become one of coach Kim Jong-hun’s attacking options off the bench when Hong Yong-jo or Jong Tae-se are mis-firing. Scored twice during qualifying.
12 caps 1 goal
Captained the North Korean side that won the Asian Under-20 title in 2006 before leading the team at the Under-20 World Youth Cup the following year. Graduated to the full national side but has yet to establish himself in the starting line-up.
Kawasaki Frontale (Jap)
21 caps 14 goals
His physical presence and eye for goal have made him one of the most feared strikers in the J.League and his decision in 2005 to play for North Korea caused ripples in both Japan and South Korea – both of whom he was eligible to play for – when he shone at the East Asian Championship.
38 caps 11 goals
Another of the handful of North Korea-born players to have experience of playing overseas, he can play either as a striker or as an attacking midfielder. Hong relocated to Europe in 2007, joining Serbian side Bezanjia before moving to Russia a year later to sign for Rostov.