N Korea accuses Australia scholar of ‘spying’

N Korea accuses Australia student of 'spying'

Alek Sigley, an Australian student who was detained in North KoreaPicture copyright
AFP/Getty Photographs

Picture caption

Alex Sigley in transit in Beijing after his launch from North Korea this week

North Korea says an Australian scholar who had been detained for a number of days earlier than being launched had been “spying” for information retailers.


Alek Sigley, 29, was reported lacking in late June, however was freed on Thursday after Swedish officers in Pyongyang met the North Korean authorities.

NK Information, one of many web sites to publish his writing, has rejected Pyongyang’s claims that he spied for them.

It stated his columns solely “introduced an apolitical view of life in Pyongyang”.

Mr Sigley, a fluent Korean speaker, had been residing in Pyongyang whereas finding out a Grasp’s at Kim Il-sung college and working a tourism enterprise.

Mr Sigley has not commented on why he detained. Following his launch, he flew to Japan, the place his spouse lives.

On Saturday, North Korea’s state-run information company KCNA stated that Mr Sigley had “on quite a few events transferred info, together with images and evaluation, that he gathered whereas travelling to each nook of Pyongyang utilizing his standing as a world scholar”.

He had performed this “upon request by anti-DPRK [North Korea] information retailers resembling NK information”, KCNA added.

The federal government determined to deport him on humanitarian grounds after he “truthfully admitted that he had been spying… and repeatedly requested for our forgiveness for infringing on our sovereignty”, it stated.

North Korea typically accuses foreigners detained in its nation of espionage or “hostile acts”.

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Media captionThe North Korean spy who needs to go house

In an announcement, NK Information, a web site specialising in North Korean information and evaluation, stated it appreciated “the DPRK’s choice to promptly launch Sigley on humanitarian grounds”.

It stated it had revealed six articles from Mr Sigley which confirmed “vignettes of unusual every day life within the capital”.

“The six articles Alek revealed characterize the complete extent of his work with us and the concept these columns, revealed transparently underneath his title between January and April 2019, are ‘anti-state’ in nature is a misrepresentation which we reject.”

Mr Sidley had revealed an essay titled: “From Perth to Pyongyang: my life as an Aussie scholar at Kim Il Sung College”, in addition to articles about North Korean vogue, apps, and eating places.

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Media captionAustralia’s prime minister confirmed Alek Sigley’s launch on Thursday

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