SEOUL (dpa) – A North Korean court has sentenced US citizen Matthew Miller to six years in jail with hard labour, state-run media reported on Sunday, saying he had committed acts of hostility against the state when he arrived on a private tour some five months ago.
The 24-year-old California native allegedly tore up his tourist visa in April when he arrived in the isolated authoritarian state through a private tour group.
“A trial of US citizen Matthew Todd Miller was held at the Supreme Court of the DPRK on Sunday. He committed acts hostile to the DPRK while entering the territory of the DPRK under the guise of a tourist in April,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted the court as saying.
Yonhap said the remarks were published by the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). “The court sentenced him to six years of hard labour,” it said.
KCNA did not mention the specific charges against Miller, who is one of three Americans being held in North Korea. North Korea announced in July that one of the detained Americans, Jeffrey Fowle, would stand trial but charges and a trial schedule were never announced.
Fowle, 56, was arrested earlier this year for leaving a bible in a hotel room before trying to leave the country.
The third US citizen, Kenneth Bae, was arrested in November 2012. The missionary was convicted in April 2013 by the North Korean Supreme Court of committing hostile acts against the country and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour.