|ESPNsoccernet: World Cup 2010|
Legendary North Korea coach Myong Rye-Hyon has hailed current incumbent Kim Jong-Hun as a "good football brain".
Myong was in charge as North Korea reached the knockout stages of the World Cup finals on their only other appearance in 1966 after beating Italy before losing to Portugal.
Kim has failed to achieve the same success as his 1966 predecessor after losing both Group G games in South Africa, but North Korea's all-round display in the opening 2-1 defeat by five-time champions Brazil gained headlines and recognition around the world.
"World football has developed remarkably. And DPR Korea has also done well to keep up with world trends," Myong told the official website of the Asian Football Confederation.
"They qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals after 44 years. They are football powers. A major strong point of the DPR Korea squad is the coach Kim Jong-Hun, who has a good football brain."
North Korea, who are ranked outside the top 100 teams in the world by FIFA, did suffer a 7-0 defeat by Portugal on Monday which ended their hopes of matching the success of 1966, although the Europeans only led 1-0 at half-time before Kim's charges tired after the break.
Myong added: "All the players have strong team spirit and work hard with determination to show the world the full dignity and honour of Korea."
North Korea round off only their second World Cup campaign against Ivory Coast, who still have an outside chance of reaching the second round with a substantial victory while also hoping Brazil beat Portugal, on Friday.