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Australian detained in North Korea

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An Australian man has been detained in North Korea as authorities in Pyongyang question him over religious documents.

John Short, 75, a South Australian missionary living in Hong Kong, was part of a tour group that arrived in North Korea on Saturday, according to a statement issued on Wednesday.

On Sunday, police detained and interrogated Mr Short, said another member of the tour group who has since been allowed to leave the republic.

“Mr Short was in possession of some Gospel tracts in the Korean language which seem to be at the core of the detention,” the statement said.


Australia’s ability to deliver consular services in North Korea is “extremely limited”, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.

Swedish authorities represent Australian interests in North Korea.

“We are in close contact with Swedish officials in Pyongyang to seek their assistance in confirming the well-being of Mr Short and to obtain more information,” DFAT said in a statement.

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