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North Korea news

Kim targets place in second round

June 20, 2010
By Soccernet staff

North Korea coach Kim Jong-Hun believes reaching the second round of the World Cup finals can be considered a success for his side.

Kim Jong-Hun
GettyImagesKim Jong-Hun: Thinking big

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Kim has earned plaudits after leading his side to a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Brazil in their opening match.

"In our case I think it would be a good result and an achievement if we were to pass the group phase,'' he said. "That is our main goal and then after, at the last-16 stage, if we can go further of course it would be a wonderful next step.

"For us at the World Cup we have two more (group) games left and we're going to put all of our effort into them and we're going to win points. That is our main goal. However, in this game sometimes you can win, sometimes you can lose. It doesn't always turn out the way you want it to or expect it to. There are going to be no further consequences after that.

"In the case of the World Cup, we want good results and even if we don't reach our goals, I think it will be a wonderful experience for the team to grow further in the future.''

The coach denied previous reports that four players went missing last week and were rumoured to have tried to defect. "I think that report was totally misrepresentative,'' he said. "The management of the team and the players are my responsibility and there were never any team members missing. All the team members have always been with us, we've been together every day, eaten, trained and slept together.

"I heard that report as well but I think it's totally false and totally groundless.''

In 1966, North Korea shocked the world by reaching the quarter-finals in England and leading Portugal 3-0 only to lose 5-3 at Goodison Park. Kim hopes to exorcise the ghosts of that defeat.

"Our players have seen the video footage of the 1966 game and heard about the game, when our players were actually leading 3-0 and then lost," he said. "We could have gone further but were stopped in the quarter-finals, so we were very disappointed at that time. A lot of people remember that disappointment, I remember it very well myself.

"So for me and my players, we'll try our best to try to make up for that disappointment.''