- The Washington Times - Friday, May 10, 2013

North Korea’s highest court finally released details of why an American was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, saying he smuggled anti-government documents into the hands of radicals.

Kenneth Bae, known as Pae Jun-ho in North Korea, used those materials to plot the downfall of the government, a Supreme Court spokesman said in the state news service, KCNA. The country had so far refused to address the man’s charges, but it faced growing claims that Mr. Bae was being used as a “political bargaining chip” with the United States, the BBC reported.

Mr. Bae is the sixth American to be detained by North Korea in recent years. All the others were released before their jail sentences wrapped — some of them, on the heels of personal visits to North Korea by high-profile Americans.

The court spokesman said Mr. Bae was “dispatched to China as a missionary,” but that he set up “plot-breeding bases,” and from there “infiltrated at least 250 students” into North Korea’s port city of Rason. His goal, the court spokesman said, was to bring “the government down,” BBC reported.

The spokesman also said, BBC reported: “He committed such hostile acts as egging on overseas [North Korean] citizens and foreigners to perpetrate hostile acts to bring down its government while conducting a malignant smear campaign. He dared commit such hideous crimes as hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership.”

The only reason Mr. Bae wasn’t executed, the spokesman said in BBC, was because he confessed.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide