North Korean striker Jong Tae-se's trade from Cologne in the second-tier German league to South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings was confirmed on Thursday. He will arrive in Seoul on Monday for a medical and then leave for Guam to join the team on an overseas training camp.
In the past, North Korea players have not been very successful in the South, and most have struggled to get used to the style of play here.
Ryang Kyu-sa, who played for Ulsan Hyundai in 2001, and Kim Yong-hui, who played for Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in 2002, both left the clubs after a year or so. Another North Korean midfielder, Ahn Young-hak, who played for Busan IPark and Suwon from 2006 to 2009, did not perform as well in Korea as in Japan, his country of birth.
It remains to be seen how Jong will fare with his new club. After joining German second-division club VfL Bochum in 2011, he scored 15 goals in 41 games over two seasons. But he lost his place in the starting rotation after he was traded to Cologne in February last year.
Suwon initially wanted to acquire him on loan in September due to doubts about his ability. But when Daejeon Citizen showed interest in acquiring him, his transfer fee shot up from W300 million to W420 million and a loan deal was no longer on the table.
Suwon manager Seo Jung-won said, "I'm not sure how he'll do, but he certainly seems to have potential from what we've seen of him on the field for his past clubs."