North Korea has rejected accusations that they’re holding 2 US citizens “hostage” as a bargaining chip, but has threatened to “mercilessly punish” them if they are found guilty of plotting to carry out “hostile acts” against the state and the country’s leadership.
“The recently-detained Americans are under investigation of a relevant legislative organ for their criminal acts against the DPRK,” said North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman. “It is an exercise of the legitimate right of a sovereign state to deal with the criminals according to its law.”
Last weekend, authorities in Pyongyang detained a US citizen on suspicion of planning “hostile acts” against the state. Kim Hak-song worked for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
Kim is being probed on the same charges as another US citizen, Kim Sang Dok, who was arrested on April 22 following his interception at Pyongyang International Airport. Kim Sang also lectured at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
Out of 10 US citizens detained by North Korea since 2009, two others remain under arrest – Korean-American Christian pastor Kim Tong Chul and college student Otto Warmbier. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for stealing a banner from a Pyongyang hotel, while Kim was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor on charges of espionage and subversion…
- N. Korea sentences U.S. student to 15 years of hard labor: Xinhua