Australian missionary John Short has been released by North Korea after being detained last month for distributing Christian pamphlets, CNN reports
Making reference to 75-year-old Short’s age, the Korean Central News Agency said Short was released “thanks to the tolerance of the law of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, aka North Korea),” CNN said.
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Short was reportedly arrested for distributing Christian information at a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang.
Short, who is from Australia but lives in Hong Kong, arrived in Beijing on Monday.
Short told reporters gathered for his arrival that he was “really, really tired,” The Guardian said
His wife, Karen Short, was awaiting word of his arrival from her home in Hong Kong and had not spoken with him yet. “I’m very happy. I’m very thankful,” she told the Guardian. “I’ll be even more thankful when I see him.”
The Korean Central News Agency attributed an apology printed in its publication to Short, CNN said.
"I now realize the seriousness of my insult to the Korean people on February 16th because I made the Korean people angry and for this I truly apologize,” the printed apology said. “I realize that my actions are an indelible hostile act against the independent right and law of the DPRK. I request the forgiveness of the DPRK for my actions.”
North Korea often requires those arrested to publicly apologize for their alleged wrongdoings, the Guardian said. Some have reported being forced into writing or reading the apologies.
The North Korean government hasn’t given in on another detainee, Kenneth Bae, 45, a Korean-American who was sentenced last year to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly trying to upset the country’s government by speaking out about Christianity.
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