Australian Christian missionary released in North Korea

John Short at Beijing airport

Australian missionary John Short has arrived in Beijing after being released by North Korean authorities, reports the ABC.

Mr Short, 75, was arrested last month while working as a Christian missionary. North Korea's state news agency, KCNA, said Mr Short had apologised and admitted to violating North Korean laws.

It said North Korea had decided to expel him partly in consideration of his age. Mr Short was picked up at an airport in Beijing by Australian Embassy officials on Monday but did not make any comment.

'The Government has confirmed through the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang that Mr Short has been released and was being deported from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK),' the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said earlier in a statement.

'Clearly this is welcome news for Mr Short, his family and his supporters. Australian consular officials stand ready to provide assistance to Mr Short to ensure he can return to his home in Hong Kong as soon as possible.

'Noting the lack of Australian diplomatic representation in the DPRK, we take this opportunity to thank the Swedish government for their tireless efforts on this difficult consular case in recent weeks.'

Mr Short, a Hong-Kong based Australian missionary, travelled to North Korea on a two-man tour with Chinese Christian Wang Chong. Mr Wang, who has since returned to Beijing, says Mr Short's problems stemmed from a visit to a Buddhist temple, where he left pamphlets promoting Christianity. The local North Korean tour guide reported this to his superiors, who told security officials.


North Korea releases Australian Christian missionary John Short (ABC)

North Korea expels Australian missionary (SMH)

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