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American Detainee Could Face Death Penalty In N. Korea

2:49 PM, Apr 27, 2013   |    comments
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PYONGYANG, North Korea -- North Korea has announced that it's putting an American man on trial on charges of plotting to overthrow the government, a crime that could draw the death penalty if he is convicted.

Official state media says Kenneth Bae was detained in November in a special economic zone in North Korea's far northeastern region bordering China and Russia. The exact nature of his alleged crimes has not been revealed, but North Korea describes Bae as a tour operator.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency says Bae admitted to committing crimes aimed at toppling the government.

The trial mirrors a 2009 case, when the U.S. and North Korea were locked in a standoff over Pyongyang's decision to launch a long-range rocket and conduct an underground nuclear test. At the time, North Korea had custody of two American journalists, whose eventual release after being sentenced to 12 years of hard labor paved the way for diplomacy following months of tensions.

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