Friday, 06 December, 2019

North Korea says it will seek extradition of plot culprits

U.S. May Launch Preemptive Strike Against North Korea Report North Korea says it will seek extradition of plot culprits
Christy Curtis | 13 May, 2017, 09:51

The North's KCNA news agency said the crimes of the detained Americans would soon be revealed.― Reuters pic SEOUL, May 11 - North Korea said today it was its sovereign right to "ruthlessly punish" American citizens it has detained for crimes against its government system, saying United States media's description of such arrests as a bargaining ploy was "pure ignorance".

A North Korean news agency KCNA revels: "A relevant institution of the DPRK detained American citizen Kim Hak Song on May 6 under a law of the DPRK on suspension of his hostile acts against it". But even when requested by the Swedish Embassy, the North "still routinely delays or denies consular access to US citizens", State Department spokeswoman Katina Adams said.

Advising Americans on the risks involved in traveling to North Korea, Adams noted the brutality of the DPRK's legal system. The US does not have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, and hence no embassy there, but relies on Sweden's embassy in N.Korea to cater to the needs of Americans. This comes after the so-called "hermit kingdom" announced it had detained of a fourth US citizen. His detention raised the number of US citizens held in the reclusive state to four.

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The other detainees are college student Otto Warmbier and Kim Dong-chul, a 63-year-old Korean-American.

KCNA said Kim had worked for Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Widespread views are that the communist nation has used the detentions as bargaining chips in its negotiations with Washington.

Also detained in the country are Otto Warmbier, a college student arrested in 2016 who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to take a piece of North Korean propaganda back home for a church friend who asked him to bring it to him in exchange for a new vehicle; Tony Kim, a Korean-American professor arrested in April after teaching accounting for a month at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and Kim Dong Chul, a businessman arrested in 2015 who is serving a 10-year sentence for espionage. 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.

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