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Australian student released from detention in North Korea

Bloomberg Canberra | Updated on July 04, 2019 Published on July 04, 2019

Alek Sigley poses for a photo in an unidentified location in this undated image obtained on social media.   -  REUTERS

Alek Sigley, an Australian who had been living in Pyongyang, was safe and well after being released from detention in North Korea, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Morrison’s confirmation, delivered on Thursday in a statement to parliament, comes after the website NK News reported that Sigley, 29, was in China and would travel to Tokyo later Thursday. His release follows a visit to North Korea by a special envoy of the Swedish government acting on behalf of Australian authorities.

Sigley -- a postgraduate student of Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University -- ran tours for foreign students and posted about the country on social media until going missing on June 24 and failing to contact his family.

His release will be a relief to his family and Australian authorities, with Morrison raising the issue with several leaders at last weekends Group of 20 meetings in Osaka, Japan. North Korea stoked ire in the U.S. when college student Otto Warmbier died in 2017 following more than a year of captivity in the Asian country.

Read also: US court orders N Korea to pay $500 m for student’s death

We all couldn’t be more pleased, Morrison said on Thursday, thanking Swedish authorities for their help. We were advised that the DPRK have released him from detention and he has safely left the country and I can confirm that he has arrived safely.

Published on July 04, 2019
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