The defending champions, meanwhile, have been gearing up nicely the defence of their crown and having experienced direct entry into the 2011 AFC Asian Cup courtesy of their penalty shootout win over Turkmenistan in the final of the last AFC Challenge Cup, the experienced East Asians are determined to book their ticket to Australia 2015 via a similar passage.
"We have prepared well for this tournament and it is very important for us to get a berth in the next Asian Cup," said head coach Yun Jong-su, whose squad includes six players who were in the DPR Korea team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.
"We had a training camp in Vietnam which went very well and we had a tough friendly with the Kuwait national team.
"We have a good team with confident players but we are in a tough group. Every team is trying to win the trophy so it's going to be a very hard tournament."
First match against Philippines on Friday.