Skip to main content

Report: U.S. citizen faces trial in North Korea

By CNN Staff
April 29, 2013 -- Updated 0757 GMT (1557 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The U.S. says it is working closely with Swedish officials on the case
  • Pae Jun Ho entered North Korea in November
  • State media: He committed an unspecified crime against the country
  • "He will soon be taken to the Supreme Court," a state news agency says

(CNN) -- North Korea plans to begin a trial against a U.S. citizen detained there last year, state media said Saturday, complicating tense relations between the two nations.

Pae Jun Ho entered North Korea as a tourist on November 3, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

After his detention, evidence revealed he had committed an unspecified crime against the country, the news agency said. The agency said he confessed to the alleged offense, but did not say what it was.

"He will soon be taken to the Supreme Court of the DPRK to face judgment," the news agency said, using the official name of the country, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

North Korea and the United States do not have diplomatic relations. Consular officials from the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang, which looks after U.S. interests in North Korea, visited Pae on Friday.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States is working closely with Swedish embassy officials.

"Welfare of U.S. citizens overseas is a critical priority of the Department of State," Psaki said.

The developments come amid tense relations between North Korea and two countries it is frequently at odds with, South Korea and the United States. In recent weeks, the North has intensified threats against its neighbor and the United States.

CNN's Elise Labott and Karen Smith contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0117 GMT (0917 HKT)
Sources tell Evan Perez that U.S. investigators have determined North Korea was in fact behind the Sony hacking.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0148 GMT (0948 HKT)
Obama says people should "go to the movies" without fear, despite hackers' threats against venues that show "The Interview".
December 2, 2014 -- Updated 0035 GMT (0835 HKT)
CNN's Brian Todd reports on the hacking of Sony Pictures and whether North Korea could be behind it.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
As the U.S. gets ready to blame the Sony hack on North Korea, a troublesome question is emerging: Just what is North Korea capable of?
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 0157 GMT (0957 HKT)
A retired Silicon Valley executive and Korean War veteran was hauled off his plane at Pyongyang in 2013. Here's what happened next.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
A recent defector from North Korea tells of the harrowing escape into China via Chinese 'snakehead' gangs.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
CNN's Amara Walker speaks to a former North Korean prison guard about the abuses he witnessed and was forced to enact on prisoners.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0559 GMT (1359 HKT)
The chief of the Commission of Inquiry into North Korea's human rights says the world can no longer plead ignorance to the regime's offenses.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
Kim Jong Il's former bodyguard tells of the beatings and starvation he endured while imprisoned in the country's most notorious prison camp.
November 10, 2014 -- Updated 1834 GMT (0234 HKT)
Christian Whiton argues "putting the United States at the same table as lawless thugs isn't just morally repugnant -- it's ineffective".
October 11, 2014 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 0851 GMT (1651 HKT)
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system" and citizens have "priceless political integrity", the country declared.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0852 GMT (1652 HKT)
Pro-wrestling, country clubs and theme parks are just some of the attractions North Korea wants you to see on a tightly controlled tour of the country.
ADVERTISEMENT