Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at the Istana in Singapore. Feline Lim/Reuters
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is praying for the safe return of a student missing in North Korea for the past week, he said on Tuesday, as authorities struggle to learn the man’s whereabouts.
The family of Alek Sigley have said they have not heard from the 29-year-old university student in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, since June 25, when the normally active user of social media abruptly ceased all communication.
With no diplomatic presence in North Korea, Australia has mounted an aggressive search for Sigley through third parties.
Despite its efforts, Morrison said Canberra had yet to establish Sigley’s location.
“I’m seeking and receiving regular updates but this morning, in the absence of those, and indeed, regardless of that, prayer is my response,” Morrison told reporters in the Australian capital.
Morrison, a devout Christian, is increasingly using religious language in political and media briefings after rarely speaking about his faith earlier in his tenure.
Friends fear that Sigley, who has published innocuous articles about daily life in North Korea, may have drawn the attention of Pyongyang authorities through his growing public profile.
An Australian student who went missing in North Korea has been released from detention and has safely left the country, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
A 29-year-old Australian student held in North Korea said on Friday he was planning to “return to normal life” after being freed and flying to Japan but offered no details of his detention.
The wife of an Australian man who has gone missing and is feared detained in North Korea said she had no hint that anything was wrong before his disappearance.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement today that it strongly condemns this terrorist act, which aims at destabilising security and stability and poses a grave threat to the world's energy supply.