SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian student who went missing in North Korea has been released, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
“Mr Alek Sigley has been released from detention in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Morrison told Parliament, referring to North Korea by its official name.
“Alek is safe and well … 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.”
North Korea-focused news site NK News earlier reported that Sigley had arrived in Beijing and would soon travel on to Tokyo, citing unidentified sources familiar with the situation.
Sigley, 29, one of only a handful of Western students in the secretive country, went missing last week, with his family saying they had not heard from the university student, who was based in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, since June 25.
With no diplomatic presence in North Korea, Australia had mounted an aggressive search for Sigley through third parties.
Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Robert Birsel