North Korea and South Korea have been drawn together in an Asian qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup.
They will play each other home and away in the five-nation Group H that includes Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka.
Saudi Arabia and Yemen were also paired in Wednesday’s draw that involved 40 national teams and some political sensitivities.
The Saudis, who played at the 2018 World Cup, are top-seeded in Group D that also has Uzbekistan, Palestine and Singapore.
Top-ranked Iran were drawn with neighbouring Iraq, plus Bahrain, Hong Kong and Cambodia, in Group C.
United Arab Emirates are top-seeded in a Group G loaded with Southeast Asian derbies, involving Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Australia, who also play in the Asian confederation, will play Jordan, Taiwan, Kuwait and Nepal in Group B.
“We are happy with our draw,” Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said. “My first game in charge was in Kuwait City, and we won 4-0, so we have been there and experienced Kuwait as a group.
“There are two teams that we have drawn [Kuwait and Jordan] that we have experience against and two teams that we are not as familiar with. But we will do our due diligence and ensure that we take every game as it comes and respect each match.
“We have worked with 80 players across the Socceroos and Olyroos over the past year, so I believe with the depth that we have we are well positioned to deal with the qualifiers.”
World Cup hosts Qatar also play as this group stage doubles up as qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup being played in China.
Qatar will play Oman, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh in Group E.
China are in Group A with Syria, Philippines, Maldives and Guam. Japan are in Group F with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar and Mongolia.
The eight groups play from September until June.
Group winners and the four best runners-up advance to another group stage, played from September 2020 to October 2021.
Those 12 teams also qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup.
Four Asian teams will qualify directly for the World Cup. A fifth nation can advance to Qatar in an intercontinental playoff round in March 2022.
Group A: China, Syria, Philippines, Maldives, Guam.
Group B: Australia, Jordan, Taiwan, Kuwait, Nepal.
Group C: Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Cambodia.
Group D: Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Yemen, Singapore.
Group E: Qatar, Oman, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh.
Group F: Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Mongolia.
Group G: United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Group H: South Korea, Lebanon, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka.
Information from the Australian Associated Press was used in this report.