N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years – Arrests Another For a Bible

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TOKYO — North Korea has sentenced Matthew Miller, a 24-year-old California man, to six years’ hard labor for committing “hostile acts” when he entered the country in April.

 Miller entered North Korea in April this year whereupon he reportedly tore up his tourist visa and demanded Pyongyang grant him asylum, according to a release from state media at the time.

Miller was charged under Article 64 of the North Korean criminal code, which is for espionage and can carry a sentence of five to 10 years, though harsher punishments can be given for more serious cases.

North Korea currently has three Americans in custody: Miller; Jeffrey Fowle, a 56-year-old from Ohio who was arrested in May after leaving a Bible in a seamen’s club in the northern city of Chongjin, and who is awaiting trial; and Kenneth Bae, a Korean American missionary who is two years into a 15-year hard-labor sentence for “hostile acts to bring down the government.”

A trial is expected soon for Jeffrey Fowle, the Americans being held for entering North Korea as a tourist and was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a sailor’s club in the city of Chongjin. 

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