NKorea footballer hopes move south will mend ties

NKorea footballer hopes move south will mend ties

Published Jan. 8, 2013 3:03 a.m. ET

North Korea striker Jong Tae Se hopes his signing with a South Korean club will improve ties between the rival Koreas.

The 27-year-old arrived Tuesday in South Korea to sign with the Suwon Samsung Bluewings. The team acquired Jong from German club Cologne for ?300,000 ($393,000). He's the best known North Korean to play in the South.

Jong says he wants to act as an on-field ambassador for both countries. Relations between the neighbors deteriorated following attacks in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans. South Korea's new president-elect wants to reopen dialogue.

Jong was born and raised in Japan but holds a North Korean passport. South Korean league officials say Jong is the fourth such player to join the K-League.


Jong played for North Korea at the 2010 World Cup.