(Reuters) - Factbox on North Korea ahead of the Asian Cup, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates from Jan 5 to Feb 1:
FIFA world ranking: 109
Ranking in Asia: 18
Previous Asian Cups: 4
Best performance: Fourth place (1980)
2015: Group stage
Coach: Kim Yong-jun
Regular captain: Ri Myong-guk
Player to watch: Jong Il-gwan
Oct 13 Uzbekistan 2-0 North Korea Tashkent
Nov 11 North Korea 4-1 Mongolia Taipei
Nov 13 Hong Kong 0-0 North Korea Taipei
Nov 16 Taiwan 0-2 North Korea Taipei
Dec 25 Vietnam 1-1 North Korea Hanoi
Jan 8 Saudi Arabia v North Korea Dubai
Jan 14 North Korea v Qatar Al Ain
Jan 17 Lebanon v North Korea Sharjah
North Korea qualified for the Asian Cup under Jorn Andersen, only for the former Norway striker to stand down from his role due to difficulties brought on by sanctions imposed on the state.
He has been replaced by Kim Yong-jun, who was a member of the North Korea squad at the 2010 World Cup finals.
Kim leads a squad featuring players from the domestic league, those based overseas such a promising teenager Han Kwang-song — currently with Italy’s Perugia — and several born in Japan, giving North Korea an unpredictable feel.
Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien