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A North Korean court has sentenced the US citizen Kenneth Bae to 15 years, hard labour after finding him guilty of unspecified crimes against the state in a move possibly intended to force concessions from Washington.
Bae was arrested in November 2012 in Rason, a special economic zone in North Korea's far north-eastern region bordering China and Russia. His trial at the country's supreme court began on Tuesday, according to the official KCNA news agency, which referred to Bae as Pae Jun-ho, the North Korean rendering of his name. The sentence was announced on Thursday.
Originally posted by MaxSteiner
Plus he was arrested in the Chinese special economic zone, I can't imagine anyone runs package tours to see the Chinese exploiting people with a lower hourly wage than them....edit on 2-5-2013 by MaxSteiner because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by TrueBrit
This all seems very fishy to me. Mr Bae appears to have been arrested on slightly different charges to those leveled at previous guests of the North Korean government. For a start, the previous hostages, prisoners, whatever one wishes to call them, were arrested ostensibly on grounds that they entered the country illegally. There seems to be no mention of that charge being leveled against Mr Bae however. The only information one can gain from examining MSM reportage on this issue, is that Mr Bae has been accused of, and allegedly admitted to crimes against North Korea ,including attempting to overthrow the government.
Two things interest me about the wording being used to describe the reason for his current imprisonment. One of those is the ambiguous description "crimes against North Korea", and the other is the word "including". The reason the phrase "crimes against North Korea" is interesting, is because as a phrase, it doesnt mean an awful lot. It has no detail attendant to it. This is an obsfucatory phrase, either being used by NK to make defense difficult and to make it hard for the U.S. to counter claim on Mr Bae's behalf, or is being used by the media to make people suspicious of North Korea. Its a bigger story when not all the facts come to light immediately, or in fine detail. It leaves room for a special report later on I suppose.
The word "including" interests me, because when it is used in conjunction with phrases like "attempting to overthrow the government", it makes one wonder what else he might have been up to, or at least, makes one wonder what the North Koreans thought he was up to. Make no mistake though, the wording used by the press in this specific case is interesting, and different than has been used to describe the other captives held by NK over the years. This may well mean that the release of Mr Bae will not be a simple matter of sending some high powered big wig over there, dodging the nuclear bullet, and giving lil Kim a shot in the arm in front of his people.
I very much doubt that the photographs of starving children can have been used as even the weakest lever to unseat the current government from thier lofty perches, since images of starving children pour out of other nations, nations which retain thier leaders despite thier publication, so such images are unlikely to be the reason for Mr Bae's detention.
Whatever the rationale, whatever the justification, I hope that Mr Bae is released, but as I say, I fear that the process which might lead to such a liberation will not be as simple as it may have been for others who found themselves running afoul of the North Korean government.
Originally posted by sulaw
reply to post by andy1972
I think sending him back to the states is punishment enough.... I mean seriously.... Hard Labor??? Is he swing a hammer making big rocks into little rocks???