Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

American Detainee in North Korea Sentenced to Six Years Hard Labor

  • Carrie Dedrick Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Sep 15

American Matt Miller was detained in North Korea in April after he allegedly entered the country yelling that he was seeking asylum while ripping his tourist visa. Miller went to trial on Sunday (Sept. 14) and was charged with “acts hostile," which carries a penalty of six years of hard labor. 

The U.S. State Department has now called on North Korea to release Miller, as well as American detainee Kenneth Bae. 

State Department spokesperson Darby Holladay said, "The charges for which he (Miller) and the other detained U.S. citizens were arrested and imprisoned would not give rise to arrest or imprisonment in the United States or in many other countries around the world.”

Miller traveled to North Korea through American-based travel agency Uri Tours. The company said that it does not have “any understanding of why” Miller tore his visa. 

In a previous CNN interview, Miller said that he “prepared to violate the law of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) before coming here. And I deliberately committed my crime.” Miller did not elaborate at the time to what “crime” he was referring. 

Publication date: September 15, 2014