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North Korea releases detained Australian student

July 5, 2019 7:43 am
Alek Sigley [middle]

“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.

The 29-year-old’s father later told local news outlets that their family was “over the moon that he is safe and sound”.

“Last week has been very difficult… we’re just happy that the situation has been resolved. He tried to ring me a few minutes ago, I will talk to him sometime today,” Gary Sigley told local outlets outside their family home in Perth.

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News of Mr Sigley’s release was announced by Mr Morrison to parliament on Thursday. He said 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.

He said Swedish authorities had met with senior officials from the DPRK on Wednesday and “raised the issue of Alek’s disappearance on Australia’s behalf”.

“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Swedish authorities for their invaluable assistance.”

Sweden is one of few Western countries that have an embassy in North Korea and often acts as an intermediary for countries that don’t.

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