TIME North Korea

N. Korea Preparing to Indict 2 American Tourists

American tourist Jeffrey Edward Fowle, from West Carrollton, Ohio in Sept. 2010.
American tourist Jeffrey Edward Fowle, from West Carrollton, Ohio in Sept. 2010. William G. Schmidt—AP

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea said Monday it is preparing to indict two American detainees for carrying out what it says were hostile acts against the country.

Investigations into American tourists Miller Matthew Todd and Jeffrey Edward Fowle concluded that suspicions about their hostile acts have been confirmed by evidence and their testimonies, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a short report.

KCNA said North Korea is making preparations to bring them before a court.

Both Americans were arrested earlier this year after entering the country as tourists.

Fowle entered the county on April 29 and North Korea’s state media said in June that authorities were investigating him for committing acts inconsistent with the purpose of a tourist visit. A spokesman for Fowle’s family said the 56-year-old man from Ohio was not on a mission for his church.

KCNA said Miller, 24, entered the country April 10 with a tourist visa, but tore it up and shouted that he wanted to seek asylum.

North Korea has also been separately holding Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae since November 2012. He is serving 15 years of hard labor for what the North says were hostile acts against the state.

The United States and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations, so Sweden, which has an embassy in Pyongyang, oversees consular issues for the U.S. there. Unless a detainee signs a privacy waiver, the State Department cannot give details about the case.

The Korean Peninsula is still in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to deter potential aggression from the North.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser