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Australian student arrested in North Korea, reports say



 North Korean flags fly from buildings in Kim Sung Square in Pyongyang Image copyright
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The Australian man was living and studying in Pyongyang, reports said
                

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

Australian and South Korea media have identified him as Alek Sigley, a 29-year-old student living in Pyongyang. [1

9659007] Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has not identified the man-made to its privacy obligations.

It said it was providing consular assistance to "the family of an Australian man who has been reported as being detained in North Korea". 19659007] "The department is urgently seeking clarification," it added in its statement on Thursday.

It is not known why the man may have been detained.

Mr Sigley is pursuing a master's degree in Korean literature at Kim Research University in the North Korean capital. He also runs tours for foreigners visiting the country

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Media caption Four defectors talk about what life is like in North Korea

He describes himself as "the only Australian "Living in North Korea" in a first-hand account about his life, published by The Guardian in March.

"As a long-term foreign resident on a student visa, I have almost unprecedented access to Pyongyang," he wrote. ] "I'm free to wander around the city, without anyone joining me."

His friends reported missing this week, the Australian Broadcasting Corp said.

Australia does not have an embassy in North Korea, and has limited diplomatic access through the Swedish embassy.


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