March 3 - Australian missionary John Short released by North Korea. Paul Chapman reports
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Australian missionary John Short was shown on North Korean tv on Monday apparently confessing to the crime for which he was jailed in Pyongyang.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHN SHORT, AUSTRALIAN MISSIONARY, SAYING:
"I deeply apologise for what I have done, spreading my Bible tracts on February the 16th, the birthday of his Excellency Kim Jong-il."
Hours later the 75-year-old was stepping off a plane in Beijing a free man after North Korea said it was deporting him because of his age.
Short, jailed by North Korea in February, left Beijing airport without speaking to reporters.
His wife Karen said she was delighted he was free.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) KAREN SHORT, WIFE OF MISSIONARY JOHN SHORT, RESPONDING TO QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER SHE'S SURPRISED BY HIS RELEASE:
"Ah, no. Thankful. Really thankful. I don't know how you can make thankful more thankful. Ten thousand times thankful is how I feel. And I don't think words can fit big enough. But that's what I feel, yes "
Last week North Korea released video of a South Korean missionary apparently confessing to spying and planning to establish a secret church.
The man identified by the North as Kim Jong Uk spoke at what appeared to be a stage-managed media conference.
North Korea says it espouses religious freedom but is ranked as one of the world's most oppressive regimes in that respect.
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