A North Korean court sentenced a US citizen to 15 years of hard labour, state media reported Thursday, amid ongoing tensions with the United States.
Kenneth Bae, identified by the Korean name Pae Jun Ho, was accused of trying to overthrow the government, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.
The United States had called Monday for Bae’s “immediate release.” News reports have said Bae was detained in November while leading five tourists after they had entered the country at the north-eastern port of Rajin.
South Korean newspaper Kookmin Ilbo reported at the time that Bae was detained after the computer hard drive of one of his group was found to contain sensitive information.
Tensions have been high between North Korea and South Korea and its ally the United States since North Korea carried out its third nuclear test on February 12, triggering condemnation from the international community and resulting in more sanctions against the reclusive state.
Keywords: North Korea-US tussle