Australian student Alek Sigley who disappeared in North Korea has now reappeared. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed for the first time Friday that Sigley had actually been arrested in Pyongyang last week. In the morning he had been informed that the student was released, Morrison said in a speech to Parliament. “He has now safely left the country, and I can confirm that he has arrived safely.” The specialist website “NK news” reported that Sigley had been flown out to Beijing and from there continue to travel to Tokyo.
The Australian Prime Minister thanked Sweden government for lobbying for the release of the 29-year-old Alek Sigley, a literary student in Pyongyang. North Korea’s state media reported on Tuesday that parliamentarian Kent Rolf Magnus Harstedt had met the North Korean foreign minister as special envoy of the Swedish government in Pyongyang.
The country consulates in Australia and other countries that do not have diplomatic relations with North Korea consular in Pyongyang. “This result demonstrates the value of discrete work of government employees behind the scenes to clarify complex and sensitive consular cases in close partnership with other governments.”
Sigley was “safe and comfortable,” Morrison continued. The Perth-born man had been living in Pyongyang for more than a year, studying Korean literature there. He had reported on daily life in the North Korean capital on Twitter and on his blog almost daily, and interviewed several Western media over the past few months.