Freed Australian denies North Korean spy charges

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 10, 2019 - Duration: 01:15s

Freed Australian denies North Korean spy charges

Australian student Alek Sigley, who was released from North Korea last week, says that Pyongyang's allegation that he was spying was 'pretty obviously false', but also said he would not be returning to the country at least for the short-term.

Jayson Albano reports.

Freed Australian denies North Korean spy charges

The Australian student released last week from North Korea says accusations he acted as a spy there are 'pretty obviously false.'

Alek Sigley was detained in the North on grounds of espionage.

On Twitter Tuesday (July 9), he also conceded his work in the country was probably over.

Sigley was pursuing a master's degree at Kim Il-Sung University, and went missing on June 25.

Swedish officials brokered his release, and he re-appeared at an airport in Beijing on July 4.

State media reported Sigley admitted to committing 'spying acts' by working with foreign media, including NK News, a website specializing in North Korea.

But in a series of tweets on Tuesday, Sigley wrote that the only material he gave to media outlets was already published publicly on his own blog.

Sigley often provided a window into life in the capital Pyongyang through social media.

But on Tuesday, he said he did not have any plans to return, at least in the short-term, and that he would be canceling any tours to the country operated by his company Tongil Tours.

In another tweet, Sigley wrote, "I may never again walk the streets of Pyongyang, a city that holds a very special place in my heart".

But, he says, "That's life".

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