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North Korea deports Australian missionary

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BEIJING (AP) — North Korea has deported an Australian missionary detained for spreading Christianity in the country after he apologized for anti-state religious acts and requested forgiveness.

The official Korean Central News Agency said authorities had arrested John Short for secretly spreading Bible tracts near a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang on Feb. 16, the birthday of late leader Kim Jong Il.

Short, who is 75, admitted that he committed a crime that hurt the Korean people's trust in their leaders and apologized for his behavior.

Short arrived Monday on a flight to Beijing, where he declined to speak to reporters and was escorted to a vehicle from the Australian Embassy.

North Korea has been holding a Korean-American missionary, Kenneth Bae, since November 2012. Bae, sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for hostile acts, held a similar news conference to apologize for his behavior.

%@AP Links

220-a-09-(John Short, Australian missionary, reciting confession)-"to request this"-Australian missionary John Short apologizes to North Korea, known officially as the DPRK. (3 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *220 (03/03/14)££ 00:09 "to request this"

219-a-14-(John Short, Australian missionary, reciting confession)-"I truly apologize"-Australian missionary John Short says he shouldn't have distributed Bible tracts on Kim Jong Il's birthday. (3 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *219 (03/03/14)££ 00:14 "I truly apologize"

221-a-10-(Karen Short, wife of Australian missionary John Short, reciting confession)-"me, and John"-Karen Short, wife of Australian missionary John Short, describes her reaction to his release. (3 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *221 (03/03/14)££ 00:10 "me, and John"

218-a-12-(John Short, Australian missionary, reciting confession)-"Kim Jong Il"-Australian missionary John Short says he regrets his crime against North Korea. (3 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *218 (03/03/14)££ 00:12 "Kim Jong Il"

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