Pyongyang, July 6: Under flak for detaining and expelling Australian student Alek Sigley, North Korea on Saturday justified the crackdown, claiming that the 29-year-old was spreading anti-Pyongyang propaganda. The totalitarian regime has accused Sigley of spying and passing on sensitive information to western media outlets.
Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed that Sigley was taken into detention and interrogated for over a week before expelling him to Tokyo. The agency claimed that "humanitarian leniency" was shown towards the student after he pleaded guilty and repeatedly sought forgiveness. Australian Student Who ‘Disappeared’ In North Korea Found to be Safe After Being Released From Detention.
Sigley, after landing in Tokyo on Thursday, refused to reveal how he was treated in the North after being taken into custody. He, however, claimed that his condition is "very good".
Notably, Sigley, who was enrolled at the Pyongyang University, was detained on June 25 for his articles in Seoul-based NK News, which North Korea has categorised as a media outlet critical of supreme leader Kim Jong-Un.
After arriving in Tokyo, Sigley reunited with his Japanese wife whom he married in Pyongyang last year. The Australian student's father Gary Sigley has also expressed rejoice over his son's release, saying that his son has been treated well by North Korea.
Sigley's fate is way better than late American student Otto Warmbier, who was detained by North Korea on espionage charges and brutally tortured. He was sent to the US in a state of coma in June 2017. Warmbier died shortly after arrival.