Australian student arrested in North Korea, reports say

9 News reports that Alek Sigley, a 29-year-old exchange student and tour company owner, was arrested in Pyongyang and has not been seen since.

Australia says it is urgently seeking clarification of reports an Australian man has been detained in North Korea.

Mr Sigley, who has been a resident of Pyongyang since early 2018 and who is believed to be the only Australian living in the hermit kingdom, studies contemporary North Korean literature and has written regularly for Western media outlets about his day to day experiences.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed an Australian man was detained in North Korea.

In a post in January this year, Sigley described a strong interest in East Asia and "socialism" and recounted his first visit to North Korea in 2012.

Mr Sigley runs a Twitter account commenting on his life in North Korea, but has not posted a tweet since June 24.

"As a long-term foreign resident on a student visa, I have almost unprecedented access to Pyongyang", he wrote. "Interaction with locals can be limited at times, but I can shop and dine nearly anywhere I want", he wrote.

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Mr Sigley and his wife, a Japanese national, was reportedly married in North Korea.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has not identified the man due to its privacy obligations.

Consular advice recommends Australians "stay as short a time as possible, eliminate unnecessary activities, and review your security arrangements".

Canberra advises against non-essential travel to North Korea - where several foreigners have been detained in the past.

In 2016, Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was imprisoned during a tour of the authoritarian state after being accused of taking down a propaganda poster.

Doctors said the 22-year-old suffered severe brain damage while in detention.

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