Published: Sun, July 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Australian detained in North Korea has 'safely left the country,' PM says

Australian detained in North Korea has 'safely left the country,' PM says

The Pyongyang university student and tour guide had been out of contact with family and friends in Japan and Australia since Tuesday last week.

Australian pupil Alek Sigley has thanked supporters and acknowledged he desires to blueprint reduction to "normal lifestyles" after being launched from detention in North Korea.

"On behalf of the Australian government may I express our deepest gratitude to Swedish authorities for their prompt and invaluable assistance in securing Alek's prompt release".

Mr Sigley, a masters student living in Pyongyang, was allegedly arrested while attending Kim II University.

Australian student Alek Sigley has thanked supporters and said he wants to return to "normal life" after being released from detention in North Korea.

It is understood that Alek Sigley is now in China, with plans to travel to Tokyo later today.

It then quoted him directly, speaking from Tokyo where he is reunited with his wife, Yuka.

But the statement gave no indication of why Sigley was held, how he was treated or why he was released.

Despite such advice, Michelle Joyce, Sigley's Sydney-based partner in their guided tour business, Tongil Tours, said on Friday she wanted to lead the next tour to North Korea as early as August.

The NK News reports that Sigley, who has not been heard from for more than a week, is now "safe and sound" in China. Morrison dined with President Donald Trump in Osaka but declined to say with whom he discussed Sigley's disappearance. The North Korean government has not issued any explanation.

Fears for his safety were compounded by the fate of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier, who died in 2017 just days after being released from detention in North Korea. He was returned to the United States in a coma in June 2017 and died a week later.

In a 2016 Huffington Post article, Mr Sigley detailed how he came to study in the reclusive country. Is tourism to North Korea or visits to North Korea, brief stays in North Korea always a bad idea?

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton suggested Sigley should apply "common sense" in future and refrain from returning to North Korea.

A senior Australian minister, meanwhile, warned him to steer clear of North Korea in future.

Is the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea warming or is President Trump carrying out a strategic PR campaign while his policy positions remain quite hardline? "It was the right time to be there", Petrov added.

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