Kenneth Bae is a tour operator of Korean descent
North Korea says it will soon put on trial an American tour operator it accuses of trying to overthrow the government. Analysts suspect that it is the latest move by Pyongyang to get a better bargaining position in any negotiations with the US and South Korea.
Kenneth Bae, referred to in North Korea as Pae Jun Ho, is a tour operator of Korean descent. He was arrested on arrival with a group of tourists in Rason, a special economic zone bordering China and Russia, on November 3.
The official Korean Central News Agency reported: “In the process of investigation he admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK with hostility toward it. His crimes were proved by evidence.”
Bae is the sixth American detained in North Korea since 2009. All his predecessors were deported or released after high-profile diplomatic interventions, some involving former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
[pictured: Kaesong city centre, North Korea; photo by Btxtsf]