News / Asia

North Korea Details Charges Against American Prisoner

A South Korean man watches a television news program showing Korean American Kenneth Bae in Seoul, South Korea, May 2, 2013
A South Korean man watches a television news program showing Korean American Kenneth Bae in Seoul, South Korea, May 2, 2013
VOA News
North Korea's supreme court has detailed some of the charges against a Korean-American tour operator who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor last month for plotting to overthrow the government.

US Citizens Detained by North Korea

  • 2013 - Kenneth Bae sentenced to 15 years hard labor for plotting to overthrow the government.
  • 2011 - Eddie Jun Yong-su detained for apparent missionary-related activities. Released following visit by U.S. delegation.
  • 2010 - Christian activist Aijalon Mahli Gomes sentenced to eight years hard labor. Release secured by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
  • 2009 - Christian missionary Robert Park beaten and detained for 43 days before being released.
  • 2009 - Journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling sentenced to 12 years hard labor. Release secured by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
A court spokesman told the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Thursday that Kenneth Bae was arrested in the city of Rason in November while in the possession of anti-Pyongyang literature.

The spokesman said Bae was working through churches in the U.S. and South Korea to bring down the North Korean government.  He was also accused of bringing more than 1,500 people from North Korea, China and other countries to what were called "plot-breeding" bases around China, and giving lectures opposing Pyongyang.

The spokesman said that Bae had confessed to all the charges.  He was convicted and sentenced in a closed-door trial that his attorney was not allowed to attend.   

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