Thursday, July 4, 2019

Detained Australian student, Alek Sigley is finally released from North Korea's jail

Australian Alek Sigley who went missing in North Korea last week is "released and safe", Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said.

It comes after a meeting between officials from the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang and the North Korean government.

Australia does not have its own embassy in the North Korean capital.

Mr Sigley, 29, was pursuing a master's degree and running a tourism business in Pyongyang.

It is not known why the student, a fluent Korean speaker, had been detained.

The news of his release was first reported by specialist website NK News which said he was safely in China and would travel on to Japan.

"I'm ok, yeah, I'm good, I'm very good," Mr Sigley is seen saying on footage reportedly showing his arrival in Beijing, according to Australian media.

Then Mr Morrison made the announcement of his release to parliament saying it was the result of "discreet, behind the scenes work of officials in resolving complex and sensitive consular cases".

"We are pleased to announce that Mr Alek Sigley has today been released from detention in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). He is safe and well," Mr Morrison said.