Trial Held in North Korea for American Who Violated Tourist Status

North-korea-detained-americans

North Korea put detained American Matthew Miller on trial Sunday, according to reports.

Details of the charges that he faced or of possible punishments were not announced before the trial, according to the Associated Press

Miller was detained in the country in April. When he arrived in Pyongyang, Miller told the Associated Press that he tore up his North Korean tourist visa and asked for asylum.

Miller is one of three U.S. citizens detained in North Korea at the present time. Miller, along with Jeffrey Fowle and Kenneth Bae recently appealed to the U.S. government to send a representative to negotiate for their release. Fowle is also due to be tried in the coming weeks.

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After the prisoners asked for help from Washington, the U.S. government asked North Korea to release the prisoners out of “humanitarian concern.”

North Korea said the detainees had committed “hostile acts against the country.” Bae was accused of being a Christian missionary, and Fowle was accused of leaving copy of the Bible in a North Korean hotel room. Bae was convicted and is serving 15 years of hard labor.

Proselytizing is strictly forbidden in North Korea, and the country has been involved in a crackdown in recent months against missionaries.

In 2009 U.S. journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling were sentenced to 12 years hard labor for entering the country without a visa. They were pardoned later that year after former president Bill Clinton made an unofficial visit to the country.

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