Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he’s praying for missing Perth man Alek Sigley, with authorities struggling to ascertain new information into his disappearance in North Korea.
“I’m seeking and receiving regular updates but in the absence of those, and indeed regardless of those, prayer is my response,” he said.
Mr Morrison made the comments outside a Canberra church, which hosted a service to mark the opening of the 46th Parliament.
Mr Sigley’s family hasn’t heard from him since early last week, which it regards as highly unusual.
“This morning there are many prayers and I must say my prayers this morning are for Alek Sigley and his family,” the Prime Minister said.
“This is a troubling and concerning situation and we are using every effort to locate him and hopefully bring him home safely.”
Mr Sigley, 29, speaks fluent Korean and began studying for a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang last year.
He married his Japanese wife Yuka Morinaga in a ceremony in Pyongyang last year.
Australia’s diplomatic presence in North Korea is limited, although consular assistance can be provided by other nations.
Mr Morrison discussed Mr Sigley’s disappearance with other world leaders at a G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, last week.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) official travel advice states there is a “high level of risk” and recommends Australians reconsider their need to visit North Korea.