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Date: 1/4/2019

Coach: Young Shin Cho


Key Players: Suyoung Jung (Right back), Seungdo Na (Right wing)


Qualification Information: 2018 Asian Men’s AHF Championship (as Republic of Korea, before unified team decision) – 3rd


History in Tournament:


As Republic of Korea (KOR): 1954-1982: DNQ, 1986: 12th, 1990: 12th, 1993: 15th, 1995: 12th, 1997: 8th, 1999: 14th, 2001: 12th, 2003-2005: DNQ, 2007: 15th, 2009: 12th, 2011: 13th, 2013: 21st, 2015-2017: DNQ


As Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (PRK): 1954-2017: DNQ


As Korea (COR): 2019: Qualified


With the recent positive development in the relationship between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the unified team of Korea will play the opening match against Germany on 10 January in Berlin a city itself no stranger to the process of unification.


Before the unification had been confirmed, Republic of Korea had booked the qualification place at Germany/Denmark 2019, thanks to winning bronze on home soil at the 2018 Asian Championship. In Suwon, Korea managed to overcome Saudi Arabia in the 3/4 placement match 29:21 (16:6), after bouncing back from a semi-final defeat, against eventual champions Qatar 32:21. To get that far they had beaten Bangladesh, India, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Iran and Saudi Arabia.


At the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, it was the same story as Korea ended with bronze, beating Japan in a match full of drama, won 24:23, after they had lost their semi-final against Qatar again this time 27:20.


The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea have been a member of the IHF since 1974 and, more recently, the mens side picked up bronze at the 2017 IHF Trophy Continental phase, held in Thailand. The following year, the juniors finished third and the youth side finished second at the IHF Trophy in Hong Kong.


The senior team did not appear at the 2018 Asian Championships or the 2018 Asian Games, held in Jakarta (Indonesia) where the Koreas fielded joint teams in rowing, canoeing, women's basketball and dragon boat racing.


After several meetings between both nations Olympic Committees and handball federations, the head coach and player selection has been made. The team will be coached by Young Shin Cho, who currently leads the men's handball team at the Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps. The unified team Korea has been preparing in Germany since 22 December and finishes with friendly matches on 5 and 7 January.


One way to smooth the transition from two nations to one sees the IHF allowing an expansion of the normal 28-name preliminary squad and 16-name final, tournament squad, to facilitate the integration of players from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea into the Republic of Korea team. A final squad of 20 players including four from the PRK has been agreed.


Our ultimate goal is not the results on court, but to show our unique team spirit to the whole world, said John Yoon, Head of International Affairs at the Korea Republic Handball Federation. Our success will be to touch all handball fans and allow handball to show the world the peaceful message from the Korea peninsula.


Follow Korea at Germany/Denmark 2019 through the Republic of Korea website and Facebook.

Group at Germany/Denmark 2019
Group A: France, Russia, Germany, Serbia, Brazil, Korea

Games at Germany/Denmark 2019
All times local

Thursday 10 January Korea vs Germany (18:15)
Saturday 12 January Russia vs Korea (15
Monday 14 January France vs Korea (20:30)
Tuesday 15 January Korea vs Serbia (18:00)
Thursday 17 January Brazil vs Korea (15:30)

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Photo: Korea Handball Federation