SEOUL (Reuters) - Penpix of North Korea’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa:
1-Ri Myong-guk (Pyongyang City). Goalkeeper. Born Sept. 9 1986. Caps 29. Goals 0.
North Korea’s “Gatekeeper of the Iron Wall” is reported to belt out the national anthem when the chips are down to inspire his team mates. Originally joined Pyongyang as a striker but when coaches suggested he try goalkeeping as a way to help the country’s national team he threw himself into the position.
20-Kim Myong-won (Amrokgang). Goalkeeper/Forward. Born July 15 1983. Caps 9. Goals 0.
Like many of his international team mates, plays for Amrokgang who won the North Korean league title in 2007. Has earned nine caps as a forward but designated a goalkeeper in the North’s 23-man squad. FIFA rules maintain each squad must have three eligible keepers.
18-Kim Myong-gil (Amrokgang). Goalkeeper. Born Oct. 16 1984.
He was the number one keeper until Ri graduated to the side. Was part of North Korea’s failed attempt to reach the 2006 World Cup finals.
2-Cha Jong-hyok (Amrokgang). Defender. Born Sept. 25 1985. Defender. Caps 32. Goals 0.
Made a brief appearance during the qualifiers four years ago, when North Korea failed to reach the finals, and has now established himself as a regular.
3-Ri Jun-il (Sobaeksu). Defender. Born Aug. 24 1987. Caps 27. Goals 0.
Usually deployed as a sweeper and controls the defence. Has been a fixture in the side throughout World Cup qualifying.
5-Ri Kwang-chon (April 25). Defender. Born Sept. 4 1985. Caps 41. Goals 1.
Usually one of the first names coach Kim Jong-hun’s puts on his team sheet. Was on the side that failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals.
16-Nam Song-chol (April 25). Defender. Born May 7 1982. Caps 42. Goals 1.
A fixture on the left side of the team’s five-man defence. Shared the job of captain with Hong Yong-jo during the qualifiers.
21-Ri Kwang-hyok (Kyonggongop). Defender. Born Aug. 17 1987.
Caps 15. Goals 0.
Came up through North Korea’s youth system and was one of the squad at the 2007 under-20 World Cup.
13-Pak Chol-jin (Amrokgang). Defender. Born Sept. 5 1985. Caps 35. Goals 0.
Experienced central defender who was part of the failed attempt to qualify for the World Cup four years ago.
14-Pak Nam-chol (Amrokgang). Defender. Born Oct. 3 1988. Caps 12. Goals 0.
The younger of two players with the same name, he played four of North Korea’s World Cup qualifiers but has yet to win a regular starting spot.
17-An Yong-hak (Omiya Ardija). Midfielder. Born Aug. 25 1978. Caps 24. Goals 2.
Veteran presence in the North’s midfield, An plays the anchor role to good effect but can also support the forwards in a more advanced role. Spent three years in South Korea with Busan and Suwon before joining J-League side Omiya this season.
15-Kim Yong-jun (Pyongyang City). Midfielder. Born July 19 1983. Caps 53. Goals 7.
Right-footed defensive midfielder who played two seasons in China with second division club Yanbian in an ethnic Korean area close to the North Korea border. Moved to top-flight Chengdu Blades, who are owned by England’s Sheffield United, in 2008 but left the club after one season.
8-Ji Yun-nam (April 25). Midfielder. Born Nov. 20 1976. Caps 22. Goals 2.
Left wing-back who returned to the team only in the later stages of the qualifiers, after being part of the 2006 squad.
11-Mun In-guk (April 25). Midfielder. Born Sept. 29 1978. Caps 42. Goals 6.
Dynamic player whose hard work is vital to North Korea’s midfield.
19-Ri Chol-myong (Pyongyang City). Midfielder. Born Feb. 18 1988. Caps 13. Goals 1.
Played only one of North Korea’s qualifiers for this World Cup. Was a member of the team that finished runners-up in the 2004 Asian under-17 championship.
23-Pak Sung-hyok (Sobaeksu). Born. 30.5.90. Midfielder. Caps 6. Goals 0.
No Information available
4-Pak Nam-chol (April 25). Midfielder. Born July 2 1985. Caps 36. Goals 5.
The older Pak Nam-chol has been a fixture of North Korea’s midfield since 2005.
22-Kim Kyong-il. (Rimyongsu). Midfielder. Born Dec. 11 1988. Caps 7. Goals 0.
Played at the under-17 world championships in 2005 and the under-20 World Cup in 2007.
10-Hong Yong-jo (Rostov). Forward. Born May 22 1982. Caps 40. Goals 11.
The North Korea captain leads from the front and his European experience with Russian club FC Rostov will be vital in South Africa. Delivered some key goals in qualifying including a penalty in the 1-1 draw against bitter rivals South Korea.
9-Jong Tae-se (Kawasaki Frontale). Forward. Born March 2 1984. Caps 21. Goals 14.
Dubbed the ‘People’s Wayne Rooney’ by Asian media, Jong’s bustling, all-action style keeps defenders on their toes for 90 minutes. The Japan-based striker is his team’s main goal threat and needs no invitation to have a crack at goal.
6-Kim Kum-il (April 25). Forward. Born Oct. 10 1987. Caps 12. Goals 1.
Bagged four goals in North Korea’s AFC Youth Championship-winning side in 2006 and was named player of the tournament. Captained the side at the FIFA under-20 World Cup in 2007 in Canada, scoring against Czech Republic.
7-An Chol-hyok (Rimyongsu). Forward. Born June 27 1985. Caps 15. Goals 7.
Four of his goals for the national side came in one match, against Guam in an East Asian championship game. Not a regular starter for the team.
12-Choe Kum-chol (Rimyongsu). Forward. Born Feb. 9 1987. Caps 16. Goals 5.
Rarely starts a game for the national side but coach Kim likes to send him on to bolster the attack if one of the regular strikers is off form.
(Compiled by Peter Rutherford)
Editing by Jon Bramley; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com