By FOX Sports staff
Hong, widely regarded as one of Asia's best-ever players, captained the Taegeuk Warriors to a third-place finish at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and also picked up the Bronze Ball for his inspirational displays that summer.
Since retiring from playing in 2004, he has held been involved in a coaching capacity with various South Korean youth teams, and led the Under-23 side to the bronze medal at last year's London Olympics.
And it now appears his excellent track record has done enough to convince the Korean Football Association (KFA) that he is the right man to take them forward, after they appointed him as the successor to Choi Kang-hee on Monday morning.
In a press statement on the KFA's official website, it was announced that a technical committee had studied all the possible candidates and agreed that Hong was the best choice for the job.
The 44-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year deal and will lead the South Koreans at both the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Although Choi did manage to lead the Korea Republic to next summer's World Cup in Brazil, the traditional Asian heavyweights were far from convincing through the fourth round of qualification and had to settle for a second place in Group A behind Iran, narrowly finishing ahead of Uzbekistan.
Hong remains the most-capped player in the history of the Taegeuk Warriors with 136 full international appearances to his name, and was the first Asian to play in four consecutive World Cup tournaments.