Prime Minister Scott Morrison Confirms Alek Sigley Has Been Found
Australian student Alek Sigley has been freed from detention in North Korea and is now safe and well in China, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed.
The 29-year-old is expected to travel to Tokyo later on Thursday.
At Australia's request, Swedish delegates met with North Korean officials this week to raise the issue of Mr Sigley's disappearance.
"Alek is safe and well," Mr Morrison told parliament.
"On behalf of the Australian government, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Swedish authorities for their invaluable assistance in securing Alek's prompt release.
"(This) demonstrates the value of discreet, behind-the-scenes work by officials in solving sensitive consular cases in close partnership with other governments."
Sigley, who runs the Tongil Tours tour company and had been studying in Pyongyang, was detained in North Korea last week.
He was last heard from last Tuesday, and had since fallen silent on social media.
The Prime Minister has released the following statement:
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.
Swedish authorities advised the Australian Government that they met with senior officials from the DPRK yesterday and raised the issue of Alek’s disappearance on Australia’s behalf.
Earlier this morning we were advised that the DPRK had released Alek from detention, and he has now safely left the country.
On behalf of the Australian Government, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Swedish authorities for their invaluable assistance in securing Alek’s prompt release.
This outcome demonstrates the value of the discreet, behind the scenes work of officials in resolving complex and sensitive consular cases, in close partnership with other governments.
We couldn’t be more pleased that we not only know where Alek is, but that he is safe.