Alek Sigley who was detained in North Korea claims he is not a spy and has no immediate plans to return to the country

Alek Sigley has no immediate plans to return to North Korea. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
  • Australian Alek Sigley has thanked everyone for their support amid his detention in North Korea – especially Sweden’s Special Envoy to North Korea and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
  • North Korean state media had accused Sigley of conducting “spying acts” in the country but Sigley denied the claims.
  • Sigley released a statement on Twitter assuring people he was okay and in a series of following tweets, said he has no immediate plans to return to North Korea.

Alek Sigley, the Australian who was released from detention in North Korea last week, has returned to Twitter to assure his followers he is safe and well — and to claim he is not spy.

In a series of tweets, Sigley said he was not a spy and said he has no immediate plans to return to North Korea.

He also thanked everyone who supported him during the ordeal and said he is “well both physically and mentally.” He added that he will not be taking part in any interviews as he returns to “normal life”.

“I just want everyone to know I am OK, and to thank them for their concern for my wellbeing and their support for my family over the past week,” he said in a tweet. “I’m very happy to be back with my wife, Yuka, and to have spoken with my family in Perth (Australia) to reassure them I’m well.

“I especially want to thank Sweden’s Special Envoy to North Korea, Kent Rolf Magnus Harstedt, for his efforts on my behalf, along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne.

“There are many other people whose names I don’t know who worked hard in the background as well. I’d like to thank those at the Department of Foreign Affairs in particular.

“My family and friends are always a source of love and support but have been even more so at this time. I also appreciate all the good wishes that myself, my family and my friends have received.”

Sigley had been studying his Master’s in Korean Literature at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang before he was reported missing on June 25. Ten days later, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Sigley’s release from detention in North Korea, thanking Swedish officials for their help in facilitating it.

“Swedish authorities advised the Australian Government that they met with senior officials from the DPRK yesterday and raised the issue of Alek’s disappearance on Australia’s behalf,” Morrison said.

North Korean state media accused Sigley of engaging in “spying acts” against the state by providing photos and videos to media critical of the state.

However, NK News – an independent media site where Sigley published columns about his experiences in North Korea – rejected the accusations.

“Alek Sigley’s well-read columns presented an apolitical and insightful view of life in Pyongyang which we published in a bid to show vignettes of ordinary daily life in the capital to our readers,” CEO of NK News Chad O’Carroll said in a statement on Saturday.

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