Striker Jong Tae-se has endured a gruelling start to 2010 to give North Korea every chance of success on their return to the FIFA World Cup™ finals following a 44-year absence.
The 26-year-old, who plays in Japan for Kawasaki Frontale, has taken a disciplined approach to his preparations ahead of the 15 June opener against Brazil by paying close attention to his lifestyle including eating, sleeping and daily workouts.
"I've decided to dedicate myself fully to football this year because of the World Cup," said Jong.
Jong played a key role in North Korea's success as Kim Jong-hun's side surprisingly secured one of Asia's four automatic qualifying berths to ensure just a second FIFA World Cup finals appearance following their fairytale run to the quarter-finals in England in 1966.
"You can have good confidence only after you've worked on what you have to do every day," added Jong. "Without that, you cannot expect to do well in the World Cup."
Jong, who was actually born in Japan to parents from North and South Korea, only scored one goal in 14 games during the qualification campaign but will be a key attacking weapon for the defence-minded North Koreans in South Africa alongside captain and Russia-based striker Hong Yong-jo.