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Another American Faces Charges in North Korea

  • VOA News

Kim Tong Chol, a U.S. citizen detained in North Korea, is presented to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea on Friday, March 25, 2016.

Kim Tong Chol, a U.S. citizen detained in North Korea, is presented to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea on Friday, March 25, 2016.

Japan's Kyodo news agency reports a Korean-American man has admitted to attempting to steal North Korean military secrets.

The agency says Kim Dong Chul, a naturalized American citizen, asked for mercy and described his actions as "shameful and ineffaceable" when he was paraded in front of the media in Pyongyang Friday.

Kim was arrested in October.

His confession comes a week after North Korea sentenced Otto Warmbier, an American student, to 15 years of hard labor for stealing a propaganda banner.

American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor on Wednesday.

American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor on Wednesday.

Observers say both Kim and Warmbier's confessions were likely coerced.

Warmbier's sentence and the threat of a similar one for Kim come amid mounting tensions following North Korea's launching of nuclear weapons tests and long-range rockets tests. Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have increased their defense readiness postures in response to the tests. U.S. and South Korean forces have conducted joint annual military exercises.

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