North Korea Sentences American to 6 Years

Californian Matthew Miller, 24, held since April
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2014 5:32 AM CDT
In this Sept. 1, 2014 file photo, American Matthew Miller in Pyongyang, North Korea. Miller, 24, of Bakersfield, Calif., was detained for violating his tourist status when he entered the country.   (Wong Maye-E)

(Newser) – North Korea's Supreme Court has sentenced Matthew Miller, a US citizen, to six years with labor for entering the country illegally and trying to commit an act of espionage. The court said today that the 24-year-old Miller, of Bakersfield, Calif., tore up his tourist visa at Pyongyang's airport when he entered the country on April 10 and intended to "experience prison life so that he could investigate the human rights situation." After its brief session this morning, the court denied Miller any appeal.

A trial is also expected soon for 56-year-old Jeffrey Fowle, who entered the North as a tourist but was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a provincial club. A third American, Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, is serving out a 15-year sentence for alleged "hostile acts." They were earlier this month allowed to address US media, and urged the US to send help.

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