Accessibility links

North Korea Sentences Korean-American to Hard Labor


Kim Dong Chul, center, a U.S. citizen detained in North Korea, is shown being taken to his trial Friday, April 29, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

Kim Dong Chul, center, a U.S. citizen detained in North Korea, is shown being taken to his trial Friday, April 29, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

A North Korean court has sentenced a Korean-American man to 10 years of hard labor.

Kim Dong Chul was given the sentence on Friday after the court found him guilty on subversion charges.

Kim is a naturalized citizen of the United States. He admitted last month that he had attempted to steal North Korean military secrets. His confession took place in front of reporters in Pyongyang. He was arrested in October 2015.

American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea in March. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor.

American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea in March. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor.

His confession came a week after a North Korean court sentenced Otto Warmbier, an American college student, to 15 years of hard labor. The court acted after Warmbier said he had attempted to steal a propaganda banner.

Observers note that North Korean officials likely pressured the confessions of both men.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have risen in recent months because of the North’s nuclear weapons and long-range rocket tests.

The U.S., South Korea and Japan have increased their defense readiness in response to the tests.

U.S. and South Korean forces held their yearly joint military exercises in March. Those exercises were described as the largest ever.

Also in March, the United Nations Security Council approved the strongest sanctions yet on North Korea for its nuclear and missile activities.

I’m Mario Ritter.

Fern Robinson reported this story for VOA News. Mario Ritter adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

_____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

confession – n. a written or spoken statement in which a person admits to something, usually something wrong

sanctions – n. action is taken to force a country to obey international law

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG