American’s Trial In North Korea Set For September 14

An American detained in North Korea is set to go to trial on September 14, according to a report by CNN.

Matthew Todd Miller is the American being held in North Korea and, according to the CNN report, he was detained after allegedly destroying his visa and seeking asylum in the communist nation.

In a rare interview with the network, Miller asked for help from the United States government prior to his trial in North Korea.

“My situation is very urgent, that very soon I am going to trial, and I would directly be sent to prison.”

North Korea’s supreme court is set to decide Miller’s fate, with CNN reporting that the American said he had admitted his guilt to the nation and apologized for his actions.

CNN also said it had interviewed other Americans being held in North Korea, including American missionary and tour operator Kenneth Bae, though details of those interviews have not yet been released by the news organization.

Vice News reported that Miller is getting increasingly desperate for assistance from the U.S., even though he had initially sought asylum from the United States when he first entered the communist North.

Vice quoted Miller before his upcoming trial in North Korea as saying his interviews would be the last chance to speak out before judgment comes at the hands of the North Koreans.

“I think this interview is my final chance to push the American government into helping me.”

The U.S. State Department has made a request for the release of Miller and Bae for “humanitarian” reasons, according to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“We also request the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] pardon Kenneth Bae and grant him special amnesty and immediate release so he may reunite with his family and seek medical care. We continue to work actively to secure these three U.S. citizens’ release.”

All of the attention focusing on the upcoming trial, at which time Miller will learn of the charges against him, comes just days after The New York Times reported testing of missiles by the North. According to the Times, “North Korea has often fired missiles to raise tensions, hoping that such actions would force the United States and South Korea to engage it in dialogue. But military analysts have said that the North’s recent tests were also designed to extend the ranges of its short-range rockets and missiles and increase its threats to hit the United States military in South Korea…”

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]