North Korea’s state news agency has reported a U.S. citizen will be put on trial on charges that include trying to overthrow the government.
The Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kenneth Bae, who was arrested last year, would appear before a North Korean court “at an early date.”
Bae, who was identified by KCNA by his Korean name Pae Jun Ho, is a tour operator who was arrested after arriving with a tour on November 3 in Rason, a special economic zone being developed by North Korea and Russia.
KCNA reported that “in the process of investigation [Bae] admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK with hostility toward it. His crimes were proved by evidence.”
Bae could face the death penalty if convicted.
Meanwhile, South Korea has begun withdrawing its remaining employees from a joint industrial park in North Korea.
Eleven workers at the Kaesong Industrial Park crossed the border back to South Korea on April 27, with an additional 116 expected to follow later in the day.
The final 48 South Korean employees are due to return on April 29.
The withdrawal comes after North Korea pulled its 53,000 workers from the complex earlier this month amid escalating tensions between the two sides.
Pyongyang has made a series of aggressive gestures in recent weeks, declaring a "state of war" with the South and threatening missile strikes against the United States.
The Kaesong complex, established in 2004, was a crucial source of hard currency for the impoverished North and a rare symbol of cooperation across the world’s most militarized border.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and ITAR-TASS