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Soccer-North Korea's Jong arrives in South for Suwon move

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Jan 8 (Reuters) - North Korea striker Jong Tae-se arrived in Seoul on Tuesday to finalise his move to the K-League's Suwon Samsung and said he hoped to play the role of sporting ambassador during his stint in the South.

Jong is set to be unveiled as a Suwon player on Thursday after sealing a 300,000 euros ($395,850) switch from German club FC 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.

The sinking of a South Korean navy ship earlier that year was blamed on the North but Pyongyang has denied it and accused Seoul of waging a smear campaign against its leadership.

Yonhap News agency reported Jong arrived on a single-entry South Korean passport though the player downplayed its significance.

"While I am playing here, I will be (South Korean)," Jong 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.

"An told me Suwon was a big franchise with a large, enthusiastic fanbase," Jong said. "He said it would be a great place to play football.

"My goal is to win the championship," he added. "I've never won a title as a player and I would like win one with Suwon."

Jong has scored 15 goals for North Korea and was part of the squad that qualified for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa but lost all three group stage matches. (Writing by Peter Rutherford in Singapore; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130108/soccer-north-koreas-jong-arrives-south-suwon-move