North Korea has announced that an American tourist is to be tried on charges of plotting to overthrow the government, a crime that carries a possible death penalty.
The case against Korean-American Kenneth Bae, who has been imprisoned in North Korea since early November, could further stoke tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.
Bae, 44, was arrested in Rason, a special economic zone in North Korea’s far north-eastern region bordering China and Russia, according to official state media.
The exact nature of his alleged crimes has not been disclosed, but North Korea accuses Bae, described as a tour operator, of seeking to overthrow North Korea’s leadership.
“In the process of investigation he admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK with hostility toward it,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.
“His crimes were proved by evidence.” Rights workers said the authorities may have taken issue with some of Bae’s photographs, including those of homeless North Korean children, Reuters reported. GNS