SEOUL (REUTERS) - North Korean football striker Jong Tae Se arrived in Seoul on Tuesday to finalise his move to K-League club Suwon Samsung and said he hoped to play the role of sporting ambassador during his stint in the South.
He is set to be unveiled as a Suwon player on Thursday after sealing a 300,000 Euros (S$482,000) switch from German club Cologne to the South Korean top flight.
The 28-year-old, who was born in Japan to a South Korean father and North Korean mother, told reporters at Incheon Airport on Tuesday that he had come to win titles but also wanted to promote sporting relations between North and South.
The two Koreas remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce, not a treaty, and tensions have risen to the highest level in decades after the North bombed a Southern island in 2010, killing two civilians and two soldiers.
Yonhap News agency reported that Jong arrived on a single-entry South Korean passport, though the player played down its significance.
"While I am playing here, I will be (South Korean)," he said. "But it doesn't really mean much because Korea is one anyway.
"Playing in South Korea means as much to me as representing North Korea internationally. While I am here, I'd be pleased to serve as an ambassador for (exchange between) the South and the North."
Jong becomes the fourth North Korean to play in the South and follows former national team-mate An Yong Hak to Suwon.
Jong has scored 15 goals for North Korea and was part of the squad that qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but lost all three group-stage matches.