North Korea star Jong leaves Suwon for Shimizu
Jul. 09, 2015
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea international striker Jong Tae Se has agreed to leave South Korean club Suwon Samsung Bluewings to sign for Japan's Shimizu S-Pulse.
Jong, who was born in Japan to Korean parents and holds a North Korean passport, made international headlines at the 2010 World Cup when he cried during the national anthem before North Korea's match against Brazil.
The 31 year-old played his last home game on Wednesday evening in a 1-0 victory over Jeonnam Dragons.
"I feel very sad to leave but it has been a great experience to play here." Jong said after an emotional goodbye to the home supporters at Suwon World Cup Stadium. "I have so many happy memories here with the goals scored and the games we won. The level of the K-League is very high in Asia and it helped me improve as a player."
"There are other memories too. I got married in South Korea and had a baby here."
During his time with Suwon, his support of the North Korean regime was criticized by some in the south especially right-wing associations.
"The best way to handle it is not to look at the internet," said Jong. "Out of 100 comments, 99 are positive with one being negative. This is something that happens on the internet all over the world."
Jong spent his formative football years in Japan with Kawasaki Frontale before moving to Germany in 2010 where he subsequently appeared for Bochum and Koln.