Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Guatemala's presidential elections mired by corruption scandals and political turmoil

Read more

ENCORE!

David Lagercrantz on taking over Stieg Larsson's Millennium series

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Looking for a European identity (part 2)

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Looking for a European identity (part 1)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

IMF warns of risks posed by Chinese slowdown to global economic growth

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Photo of drowned Syrian child sparks outrage

Read more

THE DEBATE

Erdogan's toughest battle? Turkish president reverses course on key issues (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Erdogan's toughest battle? Turkish president reverses course on key issues (part 2)

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

United States: Obama in Alaska to highlight climate change

Read more

Asia-pacific

US man gets eight-year sentence for 'illegal entry'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-07

A North Korean court has sentenced Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a US national said to have illegally entered the reclusive state in January, to eight years of hard labour, according to state media.

REUTERS- North Korea said on Wednesday it had sentenced an American man to eight years of hard labour for illegally entering the country, a decision that could further strain ties with Washington.

North Korea has previously used detained American citizens as bargaining chips and the announcement comes as the United States has been putting pressure on North Korea to return to stalled international nuclear disarmament talks.
 
Last month, the North said it was putting on trial 30-year-old Aijalon Mahli Gomes, from Boston, who entered the reclusive state in January.
 
“His guilt was confirmed according to the relevant articles of the criminal code of the DPRK (North Korea) at the trial,” KCNA said.
 
“The accused admitted all the facts which had been put under accusation. The presence of representatives of the Swedish embassy here to witness the trial was allowed as an exception at the request of the Swedish side protecting the U.S. interests,” KCNA said.
 
The U.S. State Department had no immediate comment.  Washington does not have formal diplomatic ties with North Korea.
 
Gomes had been teaching English in Seoul for about two years before making the trip to North Korea. He was also active in Protestant churches, his colleagues said.
 
He likely crossed into North Korea in support of U.S. Christian missionary Robert Park who entered the North on Christmas Day to raise awareness about its human rights abuses, said an activist who helped arrange Park’s trip.
 
Park was released in February after the North’s official media said he confessed to his crimes.
 
In previous cases, North Korea has typically released Americans a few months after their capture after trying to win concessions from Washington.

 

Date created : 2010-04-07

COMMENT(S)