"--IANS/EFE"
Seoul, June 30 (IANS/EFE) North Korea has announced that it will try two out of three Americans who have been detained in the Communist country and are accused of committing crimes against the state, North Korean news agency KCNA reported.

American citizens Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller were arrested by Pyongyang in the last few months when they were on their separate tours.

The cause of their arrest were hostile acts which have been confirmed by their own testimonies, according to the North Korean agency.

Pyongyang authorities are carrying out an investigation on the suspects and are preparing for their appearance in court as per their confirmed charges, according to the reports.

Fowle, 56, was accused of leaving a Bible in his hotel room and was detained in May this year, while 24-year-old Miller was arrested in April for staging an alleged incident while going through the immigration process, according to the state-run media of the Communist regime.

In addition to these two tourists, North Korea arrested a Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae in November 2012. Later he was sentenced to 15 years of forced labour for allegedly carrying out religious activities in the country.

In the last five years, North Korea has detained eight American citizens for various reasons. Hundreds of Americans travel to that secretive country despite a warning by the US government not to do so due to security reasons.

North Korea is increasingly receiving more tourists from different parts of the world and has announced a plan to create an international tourist zone on its southeast coast.

However, Pyongyang controls all activities of foreigners including strict restrictions like taking pictures only in the permitted areas, not to separate from their guides in any case and refrain from introducing any information from outside.

The country, characterised by absolute control of its citizens through propaganda and extreme devotion to its leaders, considers the introduction of other values and beliefs as a threat and represses any religious outreach activity.

--IANS/EFE

ab/bg


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