They have won only three matches at the tournament since then though and suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat to Brazil earlier this year.
Much will depend on Heung-min Son’s recovery from eye surgery, even if the Tottenham forward has declared himself fit.
Here’s everything you need to know about South Korea…
Coach: Paulo Bento. Portugal boss when they suffered a group-stage exit at the 2010 World Cup.
Captain: Heung-min Son. Scored at the last two World Cups and gives his country a chance in every match.
Star player: Heung-min Son. In the minds of South Korean fans, it is probably a toss-up between Son and whoever is responsible for fitting his protective mask.
One to watch: Kim Min-jae. The Napoli defender will have to be at his best up against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Darwin Nunez.
Odds to win: 250/1
World ranking: 28
Best thing about them: How easy they make qualifying look. Only Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain have a longer active streak of World Cup appearances.
Worst thing about them: Can be too reliant on Son, who has been a fair way off his best for Tottenham even without the injury concern.
Their prospects in three words: Pressure on Son.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
November 24 vs Uruguay (1pm)
November 28 vs Ghana (1pm)
December 2 vs Portugal (3pm)
Squad in full
Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu, Jo Hyeon-woo, Song Bum-keun
Defenders: Kim Min-jae, Kim Jin-su, Hong Chul, Kim Moon-hwan, Yoon Jong-gyu, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Tae-hwan, Kwon Kyung-won, Cho Yu-min
Midfielders: Jung Woo-young, Na Sang-ho, Paik Seung-ho, Son Jun-ho, Song Min-kyu, Kwon Chang-hoon, Son Heung-min, Lee Jae-sung, Hwang Hee-chan, Hwang In-beom, Jeong Woo-yeong, Lee Kang-in
Forwards: Hwang Ui-jo, Cho Gue-sung