Korea DPR arrived in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning vowing to punch above their weight in only a second appearance at the FIFA World Cup.
"It is great for us to come to the World Cup in South Africa and we have a great desire for success in the tournament," coach Kim Jong-Hun said via an interpreter at Johannesburg international airport.
Clear, cool late autumn weather greeted the 2000-1 outsiders who must face five-time world champions Brazil, 2006 semi-finalists Portugal and African giants Côte d'Ivoire in the group stages.
But none of their rivals will need reminding of what happened in 1966, the last time they competed at world football's showpiece event.
The Koreans held Chile 1-1 and stunned Italy 1-0 in England to reach the quarter-finals where they led Portugal 3-0 before Mozambique-born Eusebio rescued his adopted country with four goals in a 5-3 triumph.
Nicknamed Chollima after a mythical horse too fast to be mounted, the Asians launch their Group G campaign on 15 June against Brazil at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
An equally demanding task awaits them at the new 70,000-seat Cape Town Stadium six days later against Portugal and they must contend with Ivorian superstar Didier Drogba on 25 June in Nelspruit.
Just qualifying for South Africa was a massive achievement for coach Kim and a largely home-based team bolstered by two professionals from Japan and one from Russia.
Although written off by the bookmakers, they will arguably be among the best prepared of the 32 FIFA World Cup contenders having been together for nine months.
The Koreans started with a training camp last October in the western French city of Nantes where they drew 0-0 with Congo and have also played in South America, Central America, Africa and other European countries.