American citizen Matthew Miller, arrested in April in North Korea for violating his tourist status has been sentenced to six years of work in a corrective labor camp, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported with reference to North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA on Sunday.
“He committed acts hostile to the (North) while entering the territory of the (North) under the guise of a tourist last April,” the state-run KCNA news agency said.
Miller is the second American serving a hard labor prison term in North Korea amid accusations that Pyongyang is using them to extract political concessions from Washington, AFP reported.
On April 10, 24-year-old Matthew Miller of Bakersfield, California was arrested at the Pyongyang airport’s passport control for allegedly tearing up his visa and demanding asylum.
Another American tourist awaiting trial, Jeffrey Fowle, was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a provincial club while Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae is currently serving out a 15-year sentence for alleged “hostile acts.”
All three Americans participated in an exclusive CNN interview earlier this month where they admitted to committing acts against North Korea and publicly apologized, but it is unclear whether confessions were made freely or under coercion by North Korean authorities. The men called on Washington to secure their release.
The United State has responded by repeatedly offering to send its envoy for North Korean human rights issues, Robert King, to seek pardon for the US citizens without success.
Miller traveled to North Korea after arranging a private tour through Uri Tours which takes tourists into North Korea, despite US State Department warnings to American citizens of arbitrary arrest and detention in the country, CNN reported.