How they qualified: Stuttered and stumbled at times, with a shock defeat to lowly Lebanon costing Cho Kwangrae his job midway through the campaign. In the end they relied on Qatar to beat Uzbekistan to confirm their own qualification.
World Cup pedigree: They made the semi-finals as co-hosts in 2002, beating Italy and Spain along the way before a reality check against Germany. In 2010 they made history again by reaching the knockout stages for the first time on foreign soil, before going down to Uruguay in the last 16.
Main man: Lee Chung-Yong of Bolton Wanderers is the man with the captain's armband and his leadership skills will be needed if Korea are to trouble the scorers in Brazil.
One to watch: Cardiff City attacking midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung, 24, has impressed many football fans in the Welsh capital and beyond. He's dynamic and impresses with the ball at his feet.
What are their chances? Will be very organised and difficult to break down, but lack the firepower to beat the better teams in Brazil. An early bath is the most likely outcome, though a Round of 16 place is within their compass.