Australian student Alek Sigley feared detained in North Korea

Pyongyang, June 27: Australia says it is “urgently” seeking to confirm reports that an Australian man has been detained in North Korea.
Alek Sigley’s family, a 29-year-old student living in Pyongyang, cannot be confirmed if he had been arrested, but reported he had not been in any sort of contact with them since Tuesday.
Australian officials are trying to confirm what his latest situation is, his family has said.
The government has been describing it as a “very serious set of circumstances”.
officials in South Korea have contacted “relevantly special officials” in North Korea, one minister added.
“It has not been confirmed that Alek has been detained in the DPRK,” his family issued a statement on Thursday.
“The situation is that Alek has not been in digital contact with friends and family since Tuesday morning Australian time, which is unusual for him.” It is not known why Mr Sigley, might have been detained. His friends had disclosed that he was missing since earlier this week, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Originally he is from Perth and Mr Sigley has been living in North Korea for the last 1 year while pursuing a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim Il-sung University.
It is very rare but not new for students to attend North Korean universities or to go there on an exchange program.
According to Chinese state media, the Chinese government offers 60 students full scholarships to North Korean universities each year. About 70 other Chinese students pay their own way there.
Mr Sigley also runs a business providing tours for Western tourists visiting the totalitarian, communist state. He first went to North Korea in 2012, and these were the first of several trips, his family is quoted as saying.
In March, he stated that was the only Australian to be living in North Korea, in an article published by The Guardian.
he once wrote, that as a long-term foreign resident on a student visa, he had nearly unprecedented visitation rights to Pyongyang.
He was free to wander around the city, without anyone accompanying him.
North Korea has previously detained several foreigners, sometimes for entering the country illegally or either for what Pyongyang terms “hostile criminal acts against the state”.

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