North Korea claims freedom of religion. But a recent report from the United Nations ranked Kin Jong-un regime as one of the world's most oppressive regime describing his leadership similar to those of Nazi Germany.
With this, it was such a great relief that Aussie Christian Missionary John Short who was held in North Korea was deported avoiding a graver punishment.
KCNA, North Korea's local news agency, reported an Australian missionary detained for promoting Christianity in the country would be deported.
A spokesman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed Short was released from his detention in North Korea.
"The Government has confirmed through the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang that Mr Short has been released and was being deported from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Clearly this is welcome news for Mr Short, his family and his supporters. Australian consular officials stand ready to provide assistance to Mr Short to ensure he can return to his home in Hong Kong as soon as possible. Noting the lack of Australian diplomatic representation in the DPRK, we take this opportunity to thank the Swedish Government for their tireless efforts on this difficult consular case in recent weeks," the spokesman said.
In an interview with The Advertiser, Karen, Short's wife, said the news of his release was answered prayers for the many people who prayed for her husband.
"I've been told he was on the only flight out of Pyongyang this morning," Karen added.
"It's just the greatest news and I can't wait to see him and hug him. It's been a difficult time but I knew he was in God's hands."
She noted with his release, their plan of visiting South Australia in April is already possible.
"We wanted to come and visit family and friends for the 50th anniversary of John leaving for Hong Kong. Now this will be the greatest celebration of all."