Pyongyang, April 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court of North Korea on Friday sentenced South Korean man with American citizenship to 10 years of hard labour for espionage after he reportedly confessed to spying.
Kim Dong-chul, who was born in 1953 in Seoul and immigrated to the US in 1972, was charged with plotting to subvert the North Korean system, slandering the supreme leadership of the socialist country and gathering state and military secrets for espionage, Xinhua news agency reported.
In 2005, Kim moved to Yanji, a Chinese city some 10 km from the border with North Korea and later in 2008 established a trade company named Dongmyong in Rason, a special economic zone in North Hamgyong province, where a large number of Chinese businesses operate.
After his company was founded, he continuously carried out reactionary propaganda against Pyongyang and injected into local people fantasies about the superiority of the US, in order to shake the stability of the political and social system of the country, according to the prosecutor.
Kim started espionage in 2013 after coming into contact with several South Koreans who tasked him with collecting top party, state and military secrets of North Korea, including its nuclear facilities, nuclear tests and photographs of warships as well as other information,.
He was arrested on October 2, 2015 when he was receiving an SD card that contained photos of local markets in Rason and documents about North Korea’s nuclear programmes from a local resident in Rason whom he had bought off, said the prosecutor.
Kim confessed to the charges, repented of his crimes and appealed for gracious treatment in court.