Two U.S. journalists will be tried by North Korea on June 4 on accusations of illegal entry and hostile acts.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling, reporters of U.S. media outlet Current TV, were arrested in March near the North Korea-China border.

North Korea's state media previously said that the two American journalists would face up to 10 years in prison.

The Central Court of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea decided to try the American journalists on June 4 according to the indictment of the competent organ, the official KCNA news agency said.

The Central Court is the country's top court. It normally deals with appeals but has the right to hear some 'special' cases first, and those verdicts cannot be appealed, said Seoul lawyer Han Myung-sub, an expert on North Korea law.

Washington has kept in touch with the North Korea through various channels to secure the release of the journalists.

The United States does not have diplomatic ties with the North Koran and has relied on the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang to negotiate on its behalf.

The announcement of the June trial dates comes after Iran released an American journalist originally sentenced to eight years of spying.