CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government said Thursday it was “urgently seeking clarification” on reports that an Australian had been detained in North Korea.
Australian and South Korean media have identified the detained man as Alek Sigley, a 29-year-old university student in Pyongyang.
“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,” the department said in a statement.
“The department is urgently seeking clarification. Owing to our privacy obligations, we will not provide further comment,” the statement added.
Sigley, from the west coast city of Perth, said on social media that he was studying Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University and ran guided tours through a travel company he founded, Tongil Tours.
Official media in North Korea haven’t mentioned the reported arrest.
Australia does not have an embassy in North Korea, but consular assistance can be provided to Australians by the Swedish Embassy on a limited basis.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, the country’s main spy agency, said it cannot confirm the report.