Worried wife’s plea over husband missing in North Korea - as she reveals their last texts

The concerned wife of an Australian man missing in North Korea has revealed her worries after failing to contact him since Monday.

Yuka Morinaga, 26, said she usually speaks or exchanges messages with husband Alek Sigley on WhatsApp, News Corp reported.

She revealed she did not notice anything out of place when they last spoke on Monday night.

Tokyo-based Ms Morinaga also said Sigley, a 29-year-old blogger and student, was very respectful of North Korean culture and very cautious.

Alek Sigley and his wife Yuka Morinaga pictured in North Korea last year.
Alek Sigley and his wife Yuka Morinaga. Source: Facebook

"We don’t know what’s happened. We don’t even know if he has been detained or not.

"I’m worried but we don’t know anything yet," she said.

North Korean expert Dr Euan Graham told Yahoo News Australia that Sigley was well educated on the nation and that his activity in the country, particularly his large social media presence, never painted North Korea in a bad light.

“[Sigley’s social media activity] is not pro regime but not unfriendly to the regime,” he said.

“He has been in North Korea for over a year and he speaks Korean. It makes it more surprising this has happened.”

Reports of his arrest initially came from South Korean media outlets, who said he has been detained at his university campus, The West Australian reported.

No digital contact unusual

Sigley is the son of Anglo-Australian Asian studies professor Gary Sigley and a Chinese-Australian mother.

His family issued a statement on Thursday, saying they hoped to hear from him soon.

"The situation is that Alek has not been in digital contact with friends and family since Tuesday morning, Australian time, which is unusual for him," they said.

"Alek's family hope to re-establish contact with him soon."

Alek Sigley in North Korea. Source: Twitter
Alek Sigley in North Korea. Source: Twitter

Sigley can also speak Mandarin as well as Korean.

The 29-year-old also heads a travel company that runs tours of the reclusive state for foreign visitors.

He has run Tongil Tours for a number of years, while also studying Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang.

Alek Sibley. Source: Twitter
Alek Sibley. Source: Twitter

Australian officials have said little about the nature of his disappearance in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

Earlier, federal Attorney-General Christian Porter said the Australian was in a very serious situation.

"This particular jurisdiction, most Australians’ common sense would tell them makes this a matter of the utmost seriousness."

With AAP

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