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North Korea releases Australian student after spying accusations

 Kwangbok Street in Pyongyang.
Photo: Gerhard Joren/LightRocket via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed to parliament this week that Alek Sigley — the Aussie student who went missing and was allegedly held on reports of espionage — had safely left North Korea, AP reports.

What they're saying: North Korea claimed on Saturday that Sigley spread anti-Pyongyang propaganda and engaged in spying. A North Korean state news agency reported that Sigley was expelled out of "humanitarian leniency," says AP.

  • Sigley had reportedly shared information about North Korea on social media and on his travel agency's website.
  • Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency explained that Sigley was caught “red-handed” on June 25, having “comb[ed]” through Pyongyang and furnishing news outlets with photos and data on domestic happenings in North Korea, per AP.

But, but, but: In a statement on NK News' website, CEO Chad O’Carroll called it a “misrepresentation” for North Korea to characterize Sigley's writing for the outlet as anti-state, AP reports.

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