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The national football team of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (recognized as Korea DPR by FIFAmarker) is the national team of North Koreamarker and is controlled by the DPR Korea Football Association. The team have qualified for the FIFA World Cup twice; in 1966, where they reached the quarter-finals, and for the forthcoming competition in 2010. Korea DPR have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup twice; in 1990, when they finished fourth, and in 1992. The current team is composed of both native North Koreans and Zainichi Koreans born in Japanmarker.

Competitive history

Their most notable result came in the 1966 World Cup at Middlesbrough F.C. home Ayresome Parkmarker, when North Korea upset Italy 1-0 to gain a spot in the quarterfinals. There, they lost 5-3 to Portugal despite taking a 3-0 lead. The North Korean team was the first Asian team to progress beyond the first round of the World Cup finals. The documentary film The Game of Their Lives by Daniel Gordon is about the seven surviving members in 2002 of the 1966 national team.

The two Koreas faced each other in a 2010 FIFA World Cup 3rd round Asian Qualification match. It was originally planned to be held in Pyongyang on March 26, 2008. The North Korean government stepped in to decide the South's national anthem would not be played, nor would the DPRK allow the South's national flag to be displayed at the game. South Korea was outraged by the decision. After three failed negotiation attempts by the South Korean football association, South Korea turned to FIFA for the official ruling. After FIFA intervention, the match was played in Shanghai, China, on March 26, 2008, and it ended 0-0.

They went on to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for the second time in their history, after drawing 0-0 against Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on June 17, 2009. This is the first time in World Cup history that both North Korea and South Korea will participate in the same tournament.

In March 2005 North Korea went into the match with Iranmarker with limited chances of qualifying for the Finals due to poor performance in early fixtures. During the match hosted in Pyongyang, North Korean fans became enraged when the referee failed to award North Korea with a penalty kick after a controversial play near the end of the match. Demanding a penalty, they rushed Syrian referee Mohamed Kousa, who instead gave a North Korean player a red card. Bottles, stones and chairs were thrown on to the field following the play. The game was viewed around the world on satellite television witnessing the rare display of civil disorder. Even after the match was over, North Korean fans refused to let the Iranian team leave the stadium on their team bus. The violence was so severe that riot police were forced to step in to force back the crowd . Following this incident North Korea lost its right to host the following home match with Japan and the game was forced to be played in an empty stadium in Bangkok, Thailandmarker. .

Korea DPR had to enter the 2010 World Cup qualification from the first round, where they faced Mongolia. On October 21, 2007 they beat the Mongolian opponents 4–1 in Ulan-Batormarker, with Pak Chol-Min scoring one goal and Jong Chol-Min adding a hat trick.

One week later, on the 28th October both teams met again, this time at the Kim Il-Sung Stadiummarker in Pyongyangmarker. Korea DPR won the game with a score of 5–1. Pak Chol-Min opened the score after 3 minutes, Kim Kuk-Jin added another goal in the 10th minute. Jong Chol-Min, again Pak Chol-Min and Jong Kwang-Ik secured a 9–2 aggregate win for the DPRK to advance to the third round.

At the third round, DPRK opened their campaign against Jordan in Ammanmarker. The visitors won the game 1–0 with Hong Yong-Jo scoring the winner after 44 minutes. The following matches, DPRK won against Jordan and Turkmenistan at home and tied Korea Republic both home and away to advance to the final round.

In the final round of qualifying, DPRK finished in second place in Group B behind leaders Korea Republic ahead of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In their first match, DPRK scored a valuable away win against the UAE. Against the run of play, DPRK scored two goals with Choe Kum Chol scoring in the 72nd minute and An Chol Hyok clinching the win in the 80th minute. Basheer Saeed scored a consolation goal for the hosts in the 85th minute. The second match was the third encounter in qualifying against Korea Republic at the neutral venue of Shanghai which ended in a 1–1 draw, the third time in a row that the match has ended in a draw between these two teams. Hong Yong-Jo converted a penalty to put the North Koreans ahead in the 63rd minute, but Ki Sung-Yeung equalised for the visitors five minutes later.

DPRK's unbeaten record in the final qualification stage came to an end with an away loss to Iran. Mehdi Mahdavikia headed the hosts into a ninth-minute lead when he picked up a pass from Mojtaba Jabbari from outside the penalty area. Javad Nekonam doubled up in the 65th minute when he latched onto team-mate Masoud Shojaei's pass, this time from inside the penalty area. Korea DPR's consolation goal came from a 70th-minute header from Jong Tae-Se. In their fourth match against Saudi Arabia, Korea DPR underlined their status as Asia's dark horses by upsetting Saudi Arabia. Mun In-Guk scored the only goal in the first half, much to the delight of the 70,000-plus home crowd. The result moved the North Koreans up to second in Pool B with seven points from four matches. North Korea's next win was against UAE which made them leaders of the group with 10 points.

On April 1, the awkward stalemate between the two Koreas was broken when they lost 1-0 to their southern neighbours in a match held in Seoulmarker. The North Korean coach later suggested during a news conference that the South Koreans poisoned their squad.

A draw against Iran in Pyongyang complicated matters for Korea DPR who had 11 points from 7 matches and one game left to play. A win against Saudi Arabia would earn them direct qualification, as would a tie (due to goal differential versus Saudi Arabia) so long as Iran draws or loses their last match. A loss would have meant they were at the mercy of the result in the Iran-South Korea game.

On 17 June 2009, North Korea qualified for the 2010 World Cup by securing a draw with Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. North Korea and Saudi Arabia finished level on 12 points each, but the North Koreans had a superior goal difference.This is North Korea's second World Cup qualification, the first since 1966 where they reached the quarter-finals.

Competetive records

FIFA World Cup

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1930 to 1962 Did not enter - - - - - - -
1966 Quarter-finals 8 4 1 1 2 5 9
1970 Withdrew - - - - - - -
1974 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
1978 Withdrew - - - - - - -
1982 to 1994 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
1998 to 2002 Did not enter - - - - - - -
2006 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
2010 Qualified - - - - - - -
Total 2/19 4 1 1 2 5 9

AFC Asian Cup

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
1956 to 1972 Did not enter - - - - - -
1976 Withdrew after qualifying - - - - - -
1980 Fourth place 6 3 0 3 10 12
1984 Did not enter - - - - - -
1988 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1992 Round 1 3 0 1 2 2 5
1996 Did not enter - - - - - -
2000 to 2004 Did not qualify - - - - - -
2007 Did not enter - - - - - -
2011 - - - - - -
Total 2/14 9 3 1 5 12 17

AFC Challenge Cup

East Asian Cup

  • 2003 - Withdrew
  • 2005 - Third place in Final Tournament
  • 2008 - Fourth Place in Final Tournament
  • 2010 -Did not qualify

Current squad

The following players were called up for the team in recent times.

Recent Call Ups

The following players have been called up for previous 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification squads.

See also



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