But the former Celtic midfielder could emerge from the finals with more than the thanks of his nation.
Ki - who spent last season on loan at Sunderland - is in line to be offered a new contract at Swansea, the club he joined from the Hoops in a £5.5million move two years ago.
The 25-year-old has one year remaining on the deal he signed when he was transferred to the Liberty Stadium.
Gary Monk is now in charge of Swansea, having replaced Michael Laudrup during the last campaign, and is preparing the ground for Ki to be part of his future plans.
He said: "I think Ki is a quality player. If he is with us next season and plays well, we will then look at extending his contract."
Sunderland boss, Gus Poyet, could yet attempt to make Ki's move to the north-east permanent.
And a good showing at the World Cup finals - where South Korea face Belgium, Russia and Algeria in Group H - could determine his future options.
Unfortunately, Ki is one of the South Korean players who has been laid low by a pre-tournament health scare after contracting flu during their training camp in Miami.
He did manage to recover sufficiently to play in Monday's final warm-up match, against Ghana in the SunLife Stadium.
But South Korea lost 4-0, with Jordan Ayew scoring a hat-trick and Asamoah Gyan the other.
Ayew had only come on as a substitute for Majeed Waris - injured in a sixth-minute clash with Ki.