North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho met with a special envoy from Sweden, Pyongyang's official news agency said Tuesday, raising speculation over whether the two officials discussed the whereabouts of an unaccounted-for Australian student.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Ri held talks with Kent Rolf Magnus Harstedt, special envoy of the Swedish government.
North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho (Yonhap)
The KCNA said that the two diplomats exchanged their opinions "on the development of bilateral relations and the present situation on the Korean peninsula." Many speculate that the two may have touched on the issue of Alek Sigley, an Australian student who recently went out of contact with his family, during their meeting.
Last week, Voice of America reported that Sigley was arrested by North Korean authorities sometime around June 24 or 25 before the Australian government sought diplomatic assistance from Sweden, which maintains an embassy in Pyongyang.
The 29-year-old Australian was reported to be studying for a master's degree in Korean literature at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang. (Yonhap)