Two Americans who entered North Korea this spring could be headed for trial there, as they’re accused of “hostile acts against the country,” according to state media. A trial date for the two, who were traveling separately, hasn’t been announced.
From Shanghai, NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports:
“Matthew Miller, 24, entered North Korea as a tourist in early April. State media there said he ripped up his tourist visa and demanded asylum.
“Jeffrey Fowle, 56, who worked repairing streets in Ohio, entered in late April. North Korea state media said later that he was being investigated for committing acts inconsistent with the purpose of a tourist visit.
“In May, the U.S. State Department urged Americans not to travel to North Korea because of risk of detention.
“Last year, North Korea detained a U.S. Korean War vet, accusing him of war crimes based on his military service. He was released after about a month. Kenneth Bae, an American citizen and Christian missionary, was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor.”
According to NKNews.org, Fowle was accused of leaving a Bible in a public place.
The AP cites diplomatic sources who say Fowle left the Bible in his hotel room. But the news agency reports that “a spokesman for Fowle’s family said the 56-year-old from Ohio was not on a mission for his church.”