North Korea accuses Australian man Alek Sigley of spying

The Australian man, detained in North Korea, has been accused of being a spy and spreading anti-North Korea propaganda.

Alek Sigley was released on Thursday and deported to China after being held for several days in Pyongyang.

The 29-year-old had been studying in the capital and had also been running tours before the alarm was raised when he all of a sudden went quiet on social media.


Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) said Mr Sigley was caught “red-handed” by a “relevant institution” of the North on June 25, had abused his status as a student by “combing” through Pyongyang and providing photos and other information to news sites such as NK News and other “anti-DPRK” media.

KCNA said he was deported out of “humanitarian leniency” after he admitted to spying and pleaded for forgiveness.

He had written several articles for NK News about his time in Pyongyang, but the site denies any of them were anti-North Korea.

Mr Sigley has since been reunited with his wife in Japan but is remaining tight lipped about his experience.

He released a statement on Friday, thanking the Australian and Swedish officials who negotiated his release but wouldn’t comment any further.

“I just want everyone to know I am OK, and to thank them for their concern for my well being and their support for my family over the past week,” Sigley said.