North Korea to try US citizen for illegal entry
North Korea said Monday that it would try a detained US citizen for illegally entering the country.
A report in the state-run Korean Central News Agency identified the American as Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 30, of Boston, dpa reported.
North Korea announced in January that it had detained an unidentified US man for illegally attempting to cross into the country from China.
That man is the only American known to be in North Korean custody, and South Korean officials told South Korean media that they believed Gomes was the person detained January 25.
The report from North Korea was one paragraph and gave no other details of the case except to say that "his crime has been confirmed."
The US government has released little information about the American detained in January, citing privacy laws. Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, but communicates through the Swedish embassy.
US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said Monday there is little faith in North Korea's judicial process.
"We have great concern about the lack of transparency in North Korea overall, and certainly a lack of transparency based on our past experience with legal proceedings involving US citizens," he told reporters in Washington.
The case reported Monday is the latest of Americans straying over the border into the Stalinist state.
On Christmas Day, Robert Park, a Christian missionary was arrested for illegally crossing into North Korea after announcing he intended to be arrested to provoke public interest in the deplorable human rights situation in North Korea.
He was released last month after the Korea Central News Agency said North Korea's government decided to "leniently forgive and release him, taking his admission and sincere repentance of his wrongdoings into consideration."
In March 2009, two US journalists were arrested on the Chinese- North Korean border and later sentenced to 12 years of hard labour. They were released and flown back to the United States in August after a meeting in Pyongyang between former US president Bill Clinton and North Korea leader Kim Jong Il.