North Korean star reappears after ‘vanishing for three years’ amid mystery over his whereabouts


A NORTH KOREAN star has reappeared three years after making his last appearance.

Han Kwang-Song was one of the most promising players to come from his country as he became the first North Korean to score in Europe in 2017.

Han Kwang-Song made his first appearance in three years last week

EPAHe also featured against Myanmar[/caption]

The former Cagliari forward, 25, started in the defeat to Syria in a World Cup qualifier last Thursday at the Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium in Saudi Arabia.

The game was originally set to be played in Damascus however it was swapped because of the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Syria won the fixture 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Omar Al Somah in the first half.

His last professional appearance came in August 2020 as he played in the Qatar Stars League trophy match for Al Duhail.

He came off the bench in the match as he helped his side lift the trophy.

Kwang-Song was one of North Korea‘s highest-paid athletes when he joined the Qatari outfit on a five-year deal worth £3.6million.

He made the move to the club after a short stint with Juventus in which he failed to make a single Seria A appearance.

However, the forward’s contract was terminated in order to comply with UN sanctions that stop North Koreans from working overseas.

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The sanctions were put in place in December 2019 in order to prevent the country’s people from earning foreign currency to fund Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

Qatar told the UN that Kwang-Song was deported to Rome in January 2021 but it was unclear if he stayed.

North Korea’s strict Covid-19 pandemic borders would have made it difficult for him to return home.

He was reportedly spotted for the first time having “left” Italy in August.

The match against Syria was North Korea’s first World Cup qualifier since October 2019.

Korean football expert Steve Price told NK News: “Without playing against much opposition from outside North Korea for years due to the North’s COVID-19 prevention measures.

“Han and the rest of the North Korean team are likely to be lacking in practice against decent opposition.

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Japan will almost certainly win Group B so North Korea are battling Syria for second place.”

Kwang-Song also played in today’s 6-1 hammering of Myanmar and even got on the scoresheet.

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