The North Koreans kicked off in the knowledge that they could qualify merely by avoiding defeat, but their afternoon got off to the worst possible start when Alexandra Popp put Germany in front inside three minutes.
The FCR Duisburg striker finished top scorer in the UEFA preliminaries but hadn't managed a goal at New Zealand 2008 in her first two games, a record she put right by rifling home a sweetly struck volley from the edge of the area.
In a low-tempo match of few chances, Germany could have all but wrapped up the points shortly after the restart when Dzsenifer Marozsan curled a 25-yard free-kick round the wall, forcing a fine save out of Hong Myong Hui. From the rebound, Popp succeeded in squeezing the ball through the keeper's legs only to watch her shot strike the outside of the post and trickle behind.
Korea DPR had offered little going forward but on 58 minutes, and with their first shot on target, they drew level. Kim Uj threaded a pass through the middle of the German defence for Jon Myong Hwa, who controlled well and struck an accurate low, right-foot shot into the far corner from 16 yards.