Australia’s foreign affairs department is investigating reports that an Australian man has been detained in North Korea.
The department did not identify the man because of privacy concerns but Australian and South Korean media identified him as Alek Sigley, a 29-year-old university student in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance…to the family of an Australian man who has been reported as being detained in North Korea,” a spokesman said in a statement. “The Department is urgently seeking clarification,” he said.
A source familiar with the situation said the man had been reported missing by friends.
The treatment of foreign citizens, most usually from the United States, by the secretive North has been a contentious issue over the years. Some have been held as prisoners for extended periods.