Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A North Korean soccer player has signed with Italy's Juventus football club, a development that may be welcomed in Pyongyang.
Han Kwang Song, 20, began to receive international attention in 2015 during the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Han's entry into Juventus FC, a premier league football club, is a "very good development for the fatherland," a Europe-based North Korean diplomat said, according to Voice of America.
Juventus tweeted the latest development on Monday.
"Han Kwang Song expected to play with Juventus U23," the club said in the social media post.
Juventus FC has previously signed star players. The club broke a record by acquiring Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid for more than $100 million in 2018.
Han began to play in Italy's Serie A league in 2017. With AC Perugia Calcio, he took part in 36 matches, during which he scored 11 goals.
Few North Koreans receive state permission to live outside the country. Those who are allowed to leave often engage in enterprises designed to earn foreign currency for the regime.
North Korea is under heavy international sanctions due to its refusal to completely denuclearize.
Pyongyang has also refused to resume talks with the United States or South Korea.
Uriminzokkiri, a propaganda outlet, said Tuesday any suggestion of talks is "worthless," a reference to a recent proposal from Seoul's unification ministry.
North Korea said the proposal is "nonsense," an act of "losing face," and is a sign the South is worried about criticism of joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises.
The current climate prevents progress in cooperation and exchange, Pyongyang said.