Australian university student, 29, 'arrested and detained in North Korea'

Australian university student, 29, 'arrested and detained in North Korea'

Australian university student, 29, 'arrested and detained in North Korea'

The Australian government said Thursday it was "urgently seeking clarification" on reports that an Australian had been detained in North Korea, which the attorney-general described as a "matter of the utmost seriousness".

A picture posted online showing Alek's passport.

North Korea said Thursday that South Korea must stop trying to facilitate talks between Pyongyang and Washington as the North stepped up its pressure on the United States to salvage nuclear diplomacy between the two nations.

The Herald reported that Sigley was interviewed by official state newspaper Rodong Sinmun in an article published on June 25, around the time family and friends lost touch with the student. Most North Koreans are unable to access the world wide web - though they have an extensive, firewalled Intrenet - but foreign residents and tourists are offered Internet access. It comes just a week after Seoul approved 50,000 tons worth of food aid to their struggling neighbours, who are still under crippling economic sanctions.

"Interaction with locals can be limited at times, but I can shop and dine nearly anywhere I want".

A 29-year-old Australian masters degree student has been arrested in Pyongyang for unknown reasons.

Alek Sigley - who speaks fluent Korean and is one of only a handful of Western students living in Pyongyang - is believed to have been detained sometime in the last three days.

A year later, he established his own Australia-based tour agency, Tongil Tours, which specialises in "educational tourism" to North Korea. "My existence alone causes much confusion and I apologise if it has caused you any".

His arrest occurred a year after marrying his Japanese-born wife Yuka Morinaga.

However, there are no signs North Korea will formally abandon talks with the USA while they continue to discuss "friendly relations" between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

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Petrov says he was surprised by the news that Sigley, who he knew well, had been detained.

Presidential spokesperson Ko on Thursday also said that Kim had stressed his "commitment to denuclearization remains unchanged", citing Xi's briefing on his trip to Pyongyang.

"It was quite sensational".

The family said it had received no indication he had been detained in North Korea.

Kim Yeon-chul said a nuclear breakthrough could depend on whether North Korea finds meaningful concessions to pair with a verified dismantlement of its primary but aging nuclear complex in Yongbyon.

Alek Sigley is active on social media. "Potentially that might have led to the situation he is now in", he said. His family said his detention hasn't been confirmed. "We wouldn't be able to bear the moral and legal responsibility of bringing people to North Korea if it was unsafe".

"There is obviously some complications in providing consular assistance into North Korea", Cormann told reporters in Japan.

"The U.N. Security Council's actions should support the current diplomatic efforts to promote the denuclearisation of and a political resolution for the peninsula", spokesman Ren Guoqiang said. Nobody in the compound knows.

He has traveled to North Korea several times since 2014, the statement said.

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