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North Korea frees Australian Christian missionary

Published on Mar 3, 2014 11:58 AM
Australian missionary John Short, who was detained after distribution of religious pamphlets in a Bhuddhist temple in Pyongyang, makes an official apology at an undisclosed location in North Korea on March 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP/KCNA via KNS 

SEOUL (REUTERS) - North Korea freed a Australian missionary who had been jailed for promoting Christianity on Monday, releasing a picture of a handwritten confession by the elderly man who was arrested last month.

Mr John Short was picked up at Beijing airport by an Australian embassy vehicle and did not speak, according to Reuters Television journalists at the airport.

He was accused by Pyongyang of committing a crime by distributing tracts from the bible at a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang on late leader Kim Jong Il's birthday, a national holiday in North Korea to mark the ruling dynasty's second leader.

"I deeply apologise for what I have done by spreading my Bible tracts on February 16th the birthday of his excellency Kim Jong Il," Mr Short said in the confession released by KCNA and dated March 1.

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