An American hotel owner has been sentenced to ten years hard labour in North Korea for ‘spying’ and other offences.
The man known as Kim Dong-chul, a businessman who has lived most of his life in Fairfax, Virginia, was arrested back in October. However, only now has he been charged by the North Korean Supreme Court.
Back in March, Kim, who was born in Korea, appeared at a news conference in Pyongyang and said he was sorry for attempting to steal top secret military intelligence to give to South Korea – however, South Korea has denied any such involvement, reports the New York Times.
Apparently, foreigners in the country are often forced to admit minor crimes on television.
Despite the mixed messages, Kim is merely the latest in a long line of American nationals to be arrested and brutally punished in North Korea.
Just last month, a 21-year-old undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Otto Warmbier, was sentenced to 15 years hard labour after being caught trying to steal a poster with a political slogan on it.
According to numerous witness reports, hard labour in North Korea can range from anything such as ‘slight discomfort’ to ‘nightmarish torture’.
Warmier was near tears during his incredibly emotional ‘confession’, and the situation he describes seems very unlikely.
It’s probably worth noting that the CIA headquarters are also located in Fairfax County, Virginia. Coincidence or not?
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.