Mystery as missing North Korean footballer dubbed The People’s Ronaldo ‘REAPPEARS’… but it could spell tragedy


A FOOTBALLER dubbed The People’s Cristiano Ronaldo has mysteriously “reappeared” after vanishing from the spotlight years ago.

Former Juventus striker Han Kwang-song reportedly left Italy last month and returned to his native North Korea – but he might not have the warmest welcome back.

Former Juventus striker Han Kwang-song, from North Korea, mysteriously ‘reappeared’Getty

GettyThe 24-year-old reportedly left Italy last month and returned to his homeland[/caption]

Han’s return could spell tragedy as he re-enters Kim Jong-un’s ruthless regimeGetty

On Tuesday, sports expert Marco Bagozzi updated Radio Free Asia (RFA) on the Pyongyang-born’s latest whereabouts.

“I recently spoke with Han Kwang-song’s close friend in Italy and he confirmed that he left mid-August,” he said.

Marco added that Han’s Facebook Messenger account has been “unusable” ever since.

Another source, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Asian news outlet that the footballer had left for Beijing in August and returned to his homeland with fellow North Korean residents.

The insider claims that on August 22, Han was one of 200 North Korean passengers returning from China in a state-owned Air Koryo flight.

Jorn Andersen, who coached the North Korean national team, also told RFA: “He has not been in contact with me since last year.”

The 24-year-old’s enigmatic “comeback” could spell some tragedy as Han re-enters Kim Jong-un‘s ruthless regime.

The promising striker could likely be deemed as a North Korean “defector”, meaning he could face harsh interrogation, a prison camp sentence, or worse – the capital punishment.

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Lee Hyun-seung, a North Korean defector currently residing in the US, told Radio Free Asia that overseas workers or civil servants would be subjected to months-long political ideological training once back to their homeland.

“When the border is opened and overseas civil servants and worker re-enter North Korea, there is a high probability that these people will receive intensive ideological training from various Government bodies for at least three months,” he said.

“These include units of the Organization and Guidance Department, Propaganda and Agitation Department, State Security Department, and Party cells.”

Han’s trip to Rome from Doha in 2021 was his last known journey, CNN reports.

That same year, Han was accused of breaching UN sanctions as he may had been funnelling his £20k-a-week wage to Kim’s nuke programme, experts believe.

Han, the first North Korean to score in Serie A, was considered a promising young talent and was previously linked with big money moves to Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton.

But Al-Duhail released him from the multi-million-pound contract he signed in 2020 amid a sanctions-busting probe by UN officials.

Athletes are not exempt from international rules that stop North Koreans earning money overseas in case it goes to fund Kim’s nuclear programme.

Experts told The Sun it is likely Han would have been forced to send most of his hefty pay packet back to the North Korean regime – which would have been in a blatant breach of UN sanctions.

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GettyThe promising striker could likely be deemed as a North Korean ‘defector’[/caption]

GettyHan could face harsh interrogation, a prison camp sentence, or capital punishment[/caption]

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