Korea DPR
© AFC

Highly disciplined and well-drilled Korea DPR have a proud history in women’s football at both senior and youth level. Regular finalists in the ultra competitive Asian championships, Korea DPR have shown themselves capable of providing a rigorous workout for any team in the world. The North Koreans have lost a number of key personnel since the last FIFA Women’s World Cup™, most notably striker Ri Kum Suk, but despite their relative inexperience the team were only a penalty kick away from taking the 2010 Asian crown once again.

The road to Germany
Korea DPR suffered a 2-1 group stage defeat against Japan before claiming their ticket to Germany with a typically resolute extra-time victory against tournament hosts China in the semi-final. The Koreans battled from a goal down against Australia to force extra time in the final before losing their Asian crown after 120 gruelling minutes in a penalty shoot-out.

The star players
Midfielder Jo Yun-Mi is an important cog in the centre of the Korean team with three goals helping her claim the Most Valuable Player award at the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. Ri Un Hyang is one of a number of players to have successfully graduated from the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup-winning team, with the defender possessing an ability to score important goals as displayed during Korea DPR’s run to the final two years later in Chile.

The coach
Experienced coach Kim Kwang Min has been in charge of the national team since early 2005, maintaining the team’s strong work ethic and organisation. Under his tutelage Korea DPR have won one Asian crown, as well as qualified for two FIFA Women’s World Cups and one Olympic Football Tournament.

Previous FIFA Women’s World Cups

  • Despite their consistent status in the world top ten Korea DPR have reached the quarter-finals just once in three FIFA Women’s World Cup appearances.
  • After group stage eliminations in 1999 and 2003, the North Koreans succumbed 3-0 to eventual champions Germany in the last eight at China 2007.

The stat
3 –
Korea DPR have claimed the Asian crown in three of their last five attempts, only missing the final in two of seven tournaments dating back to 1995.

What they said
“We believe we have a bright future. Our players have taken a great opportunity to get experience and we can develop more from the experience we have gained at the Asian Cup,” Korea DPR coach Kim Kwang Min speaking after the 2010 Asian Cup.