Australian, Japanese 'Arrested in N.Korea'

Australian, Japanese 'Arrested in N.Korea'

"Alek published a short piece on NKNews.org, which was not critical but it is a website that is critical of North Korea and has many sources from North Korean defectors", said Sigley's friend Leonid Petrov, a professor of Asian Studies at the Australian National University.

Although it did not identify Sigley, Canberra's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told Australian media it was providing consular assistance "to the family of an Australian man who has been reported as being detained in North Korea" and is "urgently seeking clarification".

"Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment", a DFAT spokesperson said.

Sigley has lived in North Korea since previous year as he pursues a graduate degree in Korean literature at Kim Il-sung University.

Australia has no diplomatic mission of its own in Pyongyang and is represented there by the Swedish embassy.

He is one of a small body of worldwide students at the university and described himself as "the only Australian living in North Korea" in a piece he wrote in March for Britain's Guardian newspaper.

It is not known why he was arrested but just three months ago, Sigley wrote an article for The Guardian about life in the notoriously secretive country, saying he was able to travel freely in the capital without a chaperone.

Sigley first moved to North Korea in 2018 and is fluent in Mandarin and Korean, the Journal noted. He also operates a travel Agency called Tongil Tours, the educational travel in North Korea has to offer.

His family said Friday they have no news about whether he has been detained.

More news: Goaltender Keith Kinkaid signs with Montreal Canadiens

In May past year he married his Japanese wife in Pyongyang.

Tokyo-based Ms Morinaga also said Mr Sigley, 29, a blogger and student, was very respectful of North Korean culture and very cautious.

His disappearance comes at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea and as world leaders gather in Osaka, Japan for a G20 summit.

"He tries to understand the people there", she said.

Several foreigners have previously been detained in North Korea, sometimes for illegally entering the country or for "committing hostile criminal acts against the state".

"As a long-term foreign resident on a student visa, I have almost unprecedented access to Pyongyang", he wrote.

The treatment of foreign citizens, most usually from the United States, by the secretive North has always been a contentious issue. He was returned to the United States in a coma and died soon after.

Warmbier was detained in a North Korean prison in 2016 and sentenced to 15 years of forced labour for trying to steal a propaganda poster in his hotel. His Instagram page has since been removed, a family representative said.

Also taken by surprise by the news was the North Korean embassy in Jakarta, who when contacted about a missing Australian student, replied: "You mean Alek?"

Related Articles

  • Magnitude quake  hits Southern California -- USGS

    Magnitude quake hits Southern California -- USGS

    There were no reports of serious damage or injuries in Los Angeles, the department said. "Operations remain normal", it tweeted. In 1994, at least 57 people died when a 6.7 quake hit the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles, causing $25 billion in damage.
    How To Watch July's Solar Eclipse From Australia

    How To Watch July's Solar Eclipse From Australia

    What will the solar eclipse be like? The orbit of the moon will begin to interpose with the sun starting at 4.30 pm local time. The European Southern Observatory will stream its own live coverage of the event from its facility in Chile's Atacama Desert.
    Pence Cancels Appearance, Abruptly Returns To White House For Unspecified Reason

    Pence Cancels Appearance, Abruptly Returns To White House For Unspecified Reason

    King added that she was "just told it is not an " emergency " (1st word used) that the [vice president] is sent back to DC". White House spokesman Judd Deere echoed the message from the Vice President's office, nearly word for word.
  • Lampard signs Chelsea contract with announcement edging closer

    Lampard signs Chelsea contract with announcement edging closer

    Petr Cech has claimed that Frank Lampard is only one of a number of potential candidates to become the next Chelsea FC manager. London club Chelsea signed Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Italian giants Juventus in January.
    Oil prices slip as demand worries outweigh OPEC supply cuts

    Oil prices slip as demand worries outweigh OPEC supply cuts

    Observers said weak economic data could put further pressure on central banks to provide support to economies with fresh stimulus. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil benchmarks lost more than four percent Tuesday.
    Border Patrol Chief: Sexist Facebook posts 'inappropriate'

    Border Patrol Chief: Sexist Facebook posts 'inappropriate'

    In a series of posts, Ocasio-Cortez made various claims about what she had seen and heard from people inside the facility. A Muslim American congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, was told by one heckler: "We don't want Muslims here either".
  • Asian stocks rise after Wall Street record on trade truce

    Asian stocks rise after Wall Street record on trade truce

    Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 per cent to 21,764.28 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.3 per cent to 28,929.19. The stock market closed at 1 pm ET on Wednesday ahead of the Independence Day holiday on Thursday.
    New Zealand World Cup walloping spurred 'rock-bottom' Eoin Morgan

    New Zealand World Cup walloping spurred 'rock-bottom' Eoin Morgan

    New Zealand slumped to 61-3 and eventually was bowled out for 186 by England in a 119-run loss at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday. New Zealand were rocked early in their chase, losing both openers by the sixth over with a meagre 14 runs on the board.
    Wimbledon tennis: 15-year-old Coco Gauff stuns Venus Williams

    Wimbledon tennis: 15-year-old Coco Gauff stuns Venus Williams

    In an interview after qualifying for Wimbledon , Gauff explained how Williams and her sister Serena were inspirations to her. A glum Venus Williams sits between games during her shock loss on Tuesday.
  • Quinnipiac poll shows Kamala Harris on Joe Biden's tail

    Quinnipiac poll shows Kamala Harris on Joe Biden's tail

    Among those who had picked a candidate, only about 35 per cent said they were "completely certain" they had made up their minds. Harris' average support jumped to 14.7% on Wednesday, up from 7% on June 25, the day before the two-day debate started.
    Australian Dollar Advances After RBA Cuts Rate Again To Support Growth

    Australian Dollar Advances After RBA Cuts Rate Again To Support Growth

    It expects underlying inflation to climb from its present 1.4% to around 2% in 2020 and then a little higher after that. After the announcement, JP Morgan predicted another two cuts, taking the cash rate from 1% to 0.5% by mid next year.
    Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G version gets FCC certification

    Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G version gets FCC certification

    This buttonless phone would feature a full-screen edge display, akin to the Samsung Galaxy S and Note phones, with no side bar. The Huawei Mate X was also delayed, with reports revealing that the company had decided on this to avoid making any mistakes.