American sentenced to 15 years hard labour by North Korea for alleged crimes against the state
Kenneth Bae charged with "committing crimes aimed at toppling the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with hostility towards it"
An American man, detained by North Korea since last November for unspecified crimes against the state, has been sentenced to 15 years in a labour camp.
Kenneth Bae (Pae Jun-ho), 44, was detained late last year in Rason a Special Economic Zone in North Korea's north-eastern region bordering China and Russia. He was leading a tour group of group of five Europeans at the time of his arrest.
Mr Bae was subsequently charged with "committing crimes aimed at toppling the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with hostility towards it".
Mr Bae, who it is thought lives in China, ran a travel company called Nation Tours and according to reports had made a number of trips to North Korea without incident.
North Korea has not revealed the details of the crime he is alleged to have committed, but said "his crimes were proved by evidence".
The sentencing of Mr Bae, described by friends as a devout Christian, comes amid signs of tentative diplomacy following weeks of rising tensions in the region.
North Korea had been warning of nuclear war and missile strikes, an angry response to UN sanctions for conducting a long-range rocket launch in December and a nuclear test in February, as well as US-South Korean military drills in South Korea.
The US state department has so far refused to comment on the situation but fears are that Pyongyang could use Bae as a bargaining chip as it seeks dialogue with Washington.
The incident is not the first time a US national has been detained by North Korea during tensions between the two countries.
In 2009, after Pyongyang's launch of an earlier long-range rocket and its second underground nuclear test, two American journalists were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor after sneaking across the border from China.
Bae is at least the sixth American detained in North Korea since 2009. The others eventually were deported or released.
The United States said later today that it plans to call on North Korea to grant amnesty to Kenneth Bae.
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
David Cameron takes his biggest gamble yet as he gets tough on Europe over immigration
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
Scientists ‘incredibly concerned’ for fate of banana as plagues and fungus infections spread across world’s supplies
- 1 Tim Sherwood challenges Daniel Levy to set out vision for Tottenham Hotspur’s future
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 5 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer (WPF...
£45000 - £65000 per annum + London: Harrington Starr: Senior Automation QA Eng...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Year 6 Teacher - Gilli...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of English - S...