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What we know about Alek Sigley, an Australian detained in North Korea



Alek Sigley, a 29-year-old Australian Master’s student at Kim Il Sung University in North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang, is believed to be detained in North Korea, according to media reports from South Korea and Japan.

A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to Business Insider Australia on Thursday morning that it was “providing consular assistance … to the family of an Australian man who has been reported as being detained in North Korea.”

“The Department is urgently seeking clarification,” the spokesperson said.

Sigley, who grew up in Perth, Australia is a long-term foreign resident on a student visa, according to an op-ed he penned for the Guardian last year. He claimed to be the “only Australian in North Korea,” and his friends reported him missing earlier this week, the Australian Broadcasting Company reported.

North Korea has limited diplomatic relations with Australia, and neither country has an official diplomatic presence in the other country. Alek’s case brings to mind the case of Otto Warmbier, a US college student who was detained in North Korea in 2016 and later died under mysterious circumstances.

Here’s everything we know about Alek Sigley:

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