N Korean to serve as ‘an ambassador’

N Korean to serve as ‘an ambassador’

SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
N Korean to serve as ‘an ambassador’

North Korean footballer Jong Tae-Se (C) addresses reporters at the Incheon Airport, where he arrived to finalize his move to Suwon Bluewings. AP photo

North Korean striker Jong Tae-Se finalized his move to South Korea’s K-league yesterday, vowing to score at least 15 goals for his new team the Suwon Samsung Bluewings before the end of the season.

Jong, 28, was bought by Suwon from FC Köln for a reported transfer fee of 300,000 euros.

“I will use my experience in Germany to help Suwon win the league this season,” Jong told reporters after finalizing a three-year-contract that makes him the fourth North Korean to play in the K-League.

Jong, born in Japan to a South Korean father and a North Korean mother, has a North Korean passport and has said in previous interviews that he considered himself North Korean.

After passing his medical on Jan. 8, he expressed his desire to serve as “an ambassador” for inter-Korean sporting exchanges.

Jong made his professional debut with Kawasaki Frontale in Japan’s J-League in 2006 and won his first cap for North Korea in 2007. He was part of the national squad that played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Jong said his target is to score 15 goals over the rest of the season. He has racked up 15 goals in 28 games for North Korea, but his club scoring record has been lacklustre since moving to Germany in 2010.

Suwon is one of the most popular clubs in the country and has won the K-league four times since its founding in 1995, with its last title coming in 2008.