North Korea threatens severe punishment for American prisoner

Posted Jun 25, 2010 by Leo Reyes
An American citizen being held by North Korea for illegally entering the country will be subjected to severe punishment if the US will continue its campaign in the UN to censure it for the sinking of a south Korean warship in March this year.
North Korea
North Korea
Aijalon Gomes, a US citizen and an English teacher who is being detained for illegally entering the country in January is serving eight years of hard labor in a North Korean detention center.
The threat was made Thursday amid the heightened pressure from South Korea for the US to campaign for the censure of Pyongyang in connection with the sinking of its warship which is being blamed on North Korea.
"An institution concerned is now examining the issue of what additional measure it will take against American Gomes in line with a wartime law," KCNA said.
"If the US persists in its hostile approach toward the (North), the latter will naturally be compelled to consider the issue of applying a wartime law to him," North Central News agency said.
Responding the the threat, the US urged North Korea to release Gomes on humanitarian ground and not to politicize the issue.
"We urge the North Korean government... to release Mr Gomes on humanitarian grounds," said Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman.
"We expect the authorities to treat him in a humane manner, consistent with international human rights law, and finally we urge the authorities there to separate political rhetoric from this matter concerning a private American citizen," Toner said.
Last March 26, a south Korean warship was hit by a torpedo allegedly fired by Pyongyang which caused the death of 46 crewmen of the warship
Despite of the overwhelming evidence, North Korea continue to deny responsibility in the sinking of the warship and insists South Korea faked the whole exercise and put the blame on Pyongyang.