North Korea: American Wanted to Be 'Second Snowden'

Matthew Miller is now serving 6 years of hard labor
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2014 9:39 AM CDT
North Korea: American Wanted to Be 'Second Snowden'
In this Sept. 14 photo, Matthew Miller sits on the dock during his trial in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon, File)

North Korea today piled more accusations upon a 25-year-old American arrested there and sentenced to six years' hard labor. The state-run Korean Central News Agency says Matthew Miller entered the country on a tourist visa from South Korea and deliberately got himself arrested by tearing up his visa in order to become famous, reports CNN. The North says Miller claimed to be seeking asylum because he had attempted and failed to collect secrets about the US government, reports Reuters. "He perpetrated the above-said acts in the hope of becoming a 'world famous guy' and the 'second Snowden' through intentional hooliganism," says the KCNA, referring to Edward Snowden.

Pyongyang also thinks that Miller wanted to infiltrate the prison system to investigate human rights conditions and to try to negotiate the release of American prisoner Kenneth Bae. Not much is known about Miller, who graduated from California's Bakersfield High School in 2008. In an earlier, bizarre story, Reuters reported that he had been in South Korea for several months prior to traveling to the North "pretending to be an Englishman named 'Preston Somerset.'" He had reportedly been trying to line up artists to adapt Alice in Wonderland in anime form. (More North Korea stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.