Korea DPR
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The past
Korea DPR have long been a competitive power at youth levels in Asia, having won the AFC U-19 Championship twice. The Young Chollimas have also finished as runners-up once and have taken third place on three occasions, resulting in the team becoming one of the most respected sides on the continent.
One of Asia's most accomplished sides, they nevertheless remain a largely enigmatic team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, having featured in the tournament only once, in Canada 2007.

At that tournament, Korea DPR came close to surprising the world in their FIFA U-20 World Cup debut, drawing against both Panama and Czech Republic only to lose to Argentina by a solitary-goal and miss out on the second round. After their failure in the continental qualifier two years ago, they bounced back to win their third Asian title this year and book their second appearance in this competition.

The present
The North Koreans were desperate to prove themselves going into the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship in China. The team were left stunned in their opening game, losing 1-0 to Uzbekistan. However, they bounced back, defeating five-time winners Iraq, 3-0. A 2-0 victory over Bahrain followed, sending them through to the quarter-finals, where they overcame the hosts to book a coveted place at Colombia 2011.

The future
Team unity and a never-say-die attitude are trademarks of North Korean football at all levels, and this squad is no different. The most shining among their emerging stars is striker Jong Il-Gwan, who claimed the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award after nearly single-handedly steering his side to the Asian crown. After opening his goalscoring account against China, the Rimyongsu forward was again on target in their 2-0 triumph over Korea Republic. He went on to dominate the final against Australia, firing home a hat-trick in their 3-2 triumph.

"Jong played very well during the tournament," stated coach Yun of his talismanic goalscorer. "He may graduate into the senior national team if he keeps working hard. We learned our lessons from our failure two years ago and concentrated on midfield and defence. Our players performed well throughout and they ran hard until the final whistle."