An Australian missionary jailed last month for handing out tracts in North Korea has been released and deported to Beijing.
John Short, 75, was arrested for spreading Bible tracts near a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang in early February. North Korea's state media—the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)—said Short was released because of his age, and because he apologized. (The same explanation was used when the nation recently released a detained 85-year-old American veteran of the Korean War.)
Though North Korea's constitution guarantees freedom of religion, in reality only services approved by the government are allowed. Bible distribution and prayer services can land people in labor camps or merit execution, defectors say.
Before his release, KCNA said Short apologized for his law breaking and signed a three-page written statement outlining the laws he had broken and apologizing.