Lee Chun-Soo's corner was flicked on by Choi Tae Uk and Ji-Sung beat substitute Teddy Sheringham at the far post to head confidently past David James.
It was a body blow for England as they went in search for a morale-boosting victory, and Eriksson will have been unhappy at the sloppy nature of the goal.
Ji-Sung's goal lifted the lively South Koreans and England were suddenly forced into a period of defence.
But Eriksson's side were still living in relative comfort, quietening the enthusiastic Jeju crowd for long periods.
Substitute goalkeeper James had been well-protected, but he was alert diving to his right to save well from substitute Ahn Jung-Hwan with four minutes left.
South Korea: Woon-Jae Lee, Song, Hong, Jin-Cheul Choi,
Nam-Il Kim, Tae-Uk Choi, Yong-Pyo Lee, Yoo, Park, Seol,
Chun-Soo Lee. Subs: Byung-Ji Kim, Yong-Soo Choi, Min-Sung Lee,
Eul-Young Lee, Sung-Young Choi, Hyun, Yun, Ahn, Cha,
En-Sung Choi, Hwang, Tae-Young Kim, Sun-Cook.
England: Martyn, Mills, Ferdinand, Campbell, Ashley Cole,
Hargreaves, Scholes, Murphy, Owen, Heskey, Vassell. Subs: Keown, Seaman, Brown, Southgate, Bridge, Sheringham, Joe Cole, James, Sinclair.
Referee: A Kahalidi (Malaysia)