N. Korea Says Seoul Shifting Blame for Impasse in Negotiations

Cheryl Sanders
June 27, 2019

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is "urgently seeking clarification".

Sigley, from Perth in Western Australia, had been studying Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University since 2018, while running a company specialising in tours of North Korea. He also wrote about his living experience and almost unprecedented access to Pyongyang as a student visa holder in an article published by The Guardian. "Interaction with locals can be limited at times, but I can shop and dine nearly anywhere I want", he wrote in the Guardian.

While it is common for foreigners to be arrested in countries around the world, those arrested in North Korea tend to make news due to the tiny numbers of tourists, apart from Chinese, who visit the country - and due to the country's unique political situation, which often requires high-level political intervention to free the detainees. His family said his detention hasn't been confirmed.

Pompeo was talking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews on Sunday - on his way to the Middle East, Asia, and ultimately the G20 Summit - when he was asked a two-part question about sanctions against Iran and the possibility of talks resuming with North Korea in the near future.

It accuses the USA of maintaining hostility toward North Korea.


Australian student Alek Sigley is seen in this undated photo obtained on June 27, 2019.

"It's likely that a small action could have been considered a "mistake" and he has been arrested as a measure of punishment", Choi Soon-mi, a professor on North Korean Studies at Ajou University's Institute for Unification near Seoul, said in a phone interview.

The last Australian detained in North Korea was Christian missionary John Short, who was deported in 2014 after a 13-day interrogation.

Among some of his posts are restaurant reviews, his daily walk to class and attending a performance where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was also present.

Despite an eventual desire for a united Korea, Pyongyang sees no need for Seoul - a country which relies on the U.S. for arms and political support - as a necessary arbitrator.


Biegun will first be meeting with his South Korean counterpart, the Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, Lee Do-hoon, Friday morning.

In 2016 North Korea imprisoned American student Otto Warmbier for allegedly pulling down a state propaganda poster.

"Inter-Korean economic cooperation projects, such as the resumption of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, are appealing to both Koreas and the United States as well in that they could help reduce the burden of the global community. and present a look ahead to the kind of bright future that could greet the North should it complete denuclearization".

The Jakarta embassy often handles Australian visa requests to travel to North Korea. An Ohio coroner found the student died from lack of oxygen and blood to the brain caused by an unknown injury.


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