North Korea to put US citizen on trial

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North Korea will put a US citizen on trial for “committing crimes” against the country and aiming to topple the regime, the North’s official news agency has said.
On Saturday, amid soaring tensions between Pyongyang and the West, the KCNA said US citizen Pae Jun-Ho had admitted to the charges and would soon face “judgment”. He has been in prison in the North since November.
“In the process of investigation he admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with hostility toward it,” the report said. “His crimes were proved by evidence”.
Pae was arrested in November as he entered the northeastern port city of Rason, which lies inside a special economic zone near North Korea’s border with Russia and China.
“He will soon be taken to the Supreme Court of the DPRK to face judgment,” according to the report, which did not say what the charges were based on. South Korean media in December identified the detainee as a 44-year-old Korean-American tour operator.
He was travelling with five other tourists and was detained when a computer hard disk was found among the group’s belongings, according to the South Korean newspaper Kookmin Ilbo.
Former UN ambassador Bill Richardson delivered a letter regarding Bae to officials during a trip to North Korea in January, although he was unable to meet Bae.