Australian missionary John Short has been detained in North Korea, his wife says.
John Short, 75, was making his second trip to North Korea with a tour group when he was detained in Pyongyang.
His wife told journalists that he had been open about his work and was carrying religious material translated into Korean.
An Australian foreign affairs spokesperson said that the government was aware of John Short’s arrest.
John Short and his wife Karen have been living in Hong Kong, where he owns a Christian book publishing house.
“He was carrying Korean literature on his person and that could be the reason, but again I don’t know,” Karen Short told the Associated Press news agency.
She said he knew North Korea was not a tourist destination “but he cares about the people and he wants to help”.
Australia has no diplomatic representation 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,” the Australian foreign affairs spokesman said.
Religious activity is restricted inside North Korea and the authorities have arrested missionaries on multiple occasions in the past.
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