American Matthew Miller Pleads For Help From U.S., Begins Prison Sentence In North Korea
American Matthew Miller began his prison sentence last Thursday in North Korea, reports CNN. As reported by The Inquisitr last week, Miller was convicted of intentionally destroying his visa so that he would get arrested and experience North Korea’s violation of human rights firsthand. The Korean Central News Agency also accused him of being a part of a larger U.S.-backed campaign against North Korea, according to CNN. The validity of either of these claims are still up in the air, and despite the confession to CNN from Miller himself, it is always possible the confession was made under coercion.
Upon his sentence, the American was given the prisoner number 107, but there were no details regarding where it would be carried out. In a short interview with an Associated Press journalist, Miller shared his experiences, thus far, carrying out his six year sentence in isolation.
“Prison life is eight hours of work per day. Mostly it’s been agriculture, like in the dirt, digging around. Other than that, it’s isolation, no contact with anyone. But I have been in good health, and no sickness or no hurts.”
Despite the relatively good spirits Miller appears to be in, that hasn’t stopped him from looking for a way out.
“The Bakersfield, California, native showed several letters he had written pleading for help from influential Americans, including first lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Miller then enclosed them in a letter he mailed to his family from the hotel.”
According to Time, the U.S. has unsuccessfully attempted to meet with North Korean officials in order to arrange releases for Miller and two other American prisoners North Korea is holding, but this hasn’t stopped them from trying, Reutersreports.
“Our foremost goal is to resolve these cases and secure the earliest possible release of our detained U.S. citizens…[and it would be] unhelpful for us to try to negotiate with North Korea through the media.”
Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, continues to try and secure a way for Americans to be set free and believes this could be a way of opening up a diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. King is, however, incredibly cautious and will not allow North Korea to use this as an opportunity for political gain from the U.S.
[Image Credit: AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon]