Update as of 5.55am EDT: (Reuters) - North Korea sentenced U.S. citizen Matthew Todd Miller to six years hard labor for committing "hostile acts" as a tourist to the isolated country, a statement carried by state media said on Sunday.
"He committed acts hostile to the DPRK while entering the territory of the DPRK under the guise of a tourist last April," the short statement said, without elaborating.
Miller, from Bakersfield, California and in his mid-20s, entered North Korea in April this year whereupon he tore up his tourist visa and demanded Pyongyang grant him asylum, according to a release from state media at the time.
Photos of the trial released by state media showed some of Miller's personal possessions, including his passport and North Korean visa - which was ripped. Miller was also shown sitting in a witness box, flanked by North Korean soldiers.
North Korea has yet to announce a trial date for fellow U.S. citizen Jeffrey Fowle, 56, from Miamisburg, Ohio, who was arrested in May this year for leaving a bible under the toilet of a sailor's club in the eastern port city of Chongjin.
U.S. missionary Kenneth Bae has been held by the isolated country since December 2012 and is serving a sentence of 15 years hard labor for crimes North Korea said amounted to a plot to overthrow the state.
(Reporting by James Pearson; Editing by Kim Coghill)
Original story below
North Korea put detained American Matthew Miller on trial Sunday, according to reports.
Details of the charges that he faced or of possible punishments were not announced before the trial, according to the Associated Press.
Miller was detained in the country in April. When he arrived in Pyongyang, Miller told the Associated Press that he tore up his North Korean tourist visa and asked for asylum.
Miller is one of three U.S. citizens detained in North Korea at the present time. Miller, along with Jeffrey Fowle and Kenneth Bae recently appealed to the U.S. government to send a representative to negotiate for their release. Fowle is also due to be tried in the coming weeks.
After the prisoners asked for help from Washington, the U.S. government asked North Korea to release the prisoners out of "humanitarian concern."
North Korea said the detainees had committed “hostile acts against the country.” Bae was accused of being a Christian missionary, and Fowle was accused of leaving copy of the Bible in a North Korean hotel room. Bae was convicted and is serving 15 years of hard labor.
Proselytizing is strictly forbidden in North Korea, and the country has been involved in a crackdown in recent months against missionaries.
In 2009 U.S. journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling were sentenced to 12 years hard labor for entering the country without a visa. They were pardoned later that year after former president Bill Clinton made an unofficial visit to the country.