Member of Parliament who has visited the alleged Australian exchange student registered by North Korea has been jailed – and says that Julie Bishop must fly to Pyongyang to get him released
- Former Federal MP Michael Johnson has visited North Korea three times
- He suspected North Korean officials had hit Alek Sigley on the face
- Mr. Johnson offered to go to Pyongyang with former foreign minister Julie Bishop
Former Liberal Representative Michael Johnson (photo) who has visited North Korea is convinced that Australian exchange student Alek Sigley has now been imprisoned
A former liberal people's representative who has visited North Korea is convinced that Australian exchange student Alek Sigley has since been beaten in detention.
Michael Johnson went to Pyongyang three times to see life in the mysterious communist state after Australia closed its embassy there.
The former liberal backbencher, who is now a Brisbane-based business manager, suspected that the North Korean authorities would have physically punished Mr. Sigley for possible ridicule with the authoritarian regime of Kim Jong-Un.
& # 39; He would be very realistic beaten up, beaten around, & # 39; Mr. Johnson said to Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.
& # 39; I certainly do not give a discount that he was physically hit, physically abused.
& # 39; My feeling is that he was physically abused, but I don't think he would have been tortured or anything like that. I would not go into that vision yet. & # 39;
Mr. Johnson, who is now president of Orbitz Elevators, has offered to fly with former Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, to North Korea in an attempt to free Mr. Sigley, who is originally from Perth.
The former liberal backbencher, now a Brisbane-based business manager, suspected that the North Korean authorities would physically punish Australian exchange student Alek Sigley (depicted with his Japanese wife Yuka Morinaga) for possible ridicule with the authoritarian regime of Kim Jong- Un
He suggested that Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne make use of his diplomatic connections, of his three visits to North Korea in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
& # 39; I just contacted Julie Bishop today to try and convince her again for her and I to go to North Korea and get this Australian out of jail when he is in captivity & he said.
& # 39; It would be better if a former Foreign Minister would reach North Korea instead of a current elected official.
& # 39; That is exactly how diplomacy works and it would be a huge step and it would go very well.
& # 39; I'm happy to go there and now represent the Australian government to start the conversation, the negotiations to bring this man home. & # 39;
Johnson said that Australia had destroyed its chances of freeing Sigley by closing the embassy in Pyongyang in 2002.
& # 39; Australia has absolutely no influence in North Korea and I can reach North Korea more than any Australian politician or Australian diplomat, & # 39; he said.
Mr. Johnson suggested that the Australian send himself and former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (pictured left with friend David Panton) to North Korea to free Mr. Sigley.
Mr. Sigley, an Australian master student, was detained in North Korea because a few weeks before he was detained, he found a Facebook message about him being a partner of American spies.
The 29-year-old married man is considered the only Australian living in North Korea.
He was missing this week after a series of social media reports about life in the mysterious nation's capital, Pyongyang.
His arrest took place a year after his marriage to his Japanese-born wife Yuka Morinaga.
Sigley arrived in the country as an exchange student, before founding a company that organized tours.
Mr. Johnson said it was unlikely that Sigley would have been detained just because he had posted something on social media, but hinted that he would be killed if he had personally offended the North Korea Supreme Leader.
& # 39; If he has done something very, very foolish that has personally abused the name Kim Jong-un, then that is a completely different story & he said.
& # 39; No one survives things like that. Kim Jong-un kills his own family. & # 39;
American university student Otto Warmbier died in June 2017, 18 months after he was imprisoned and then released back to the United States after his attempt to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel.
Sigle, an Australian master's student, was detained in North Korea because he nurtured a Facebook message about him being a partner of American spies a few months before he was detained.
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