North Korea Sentences American to 15 Years Hard Labor

North Korean soldiers.
Kim Jae-Hwan | AFP | Getty Images
North Korean soldiers.

North Korea's Supreme Court sentenced U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labor on Thursday for committing crimes against the North, according to state news agency KCNA.

The ruling for the unspecified crimes came after two months of tensions between Pyongyang and Washington that saw the isolated and impoverished state threaten nuclear war with the United States and South Korea.

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KCNA said the trial for a man it named as Pae Jun-ho, a Korean rendering of Bae's name, was held on April 30.

Bae, 44, was in a group of five tourists who visited the northeastern North Korean city of Rajin in November and has been held by police since then.

According to North Korean law, the punishment for hostile acts against the state is between five and 10 years of hard labor.

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His 15 year sentence appears to be heftier than those handed down to other Americans detained in Pyongyang for crimes against the state.