KCNA (North Korea), AP
PYONYANG - U.S. citizen Pae Jun-ho who was recently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea, has started life a "special prison," state media said Wednesday.
Pae, known in the U.S. as Kenneth Bae, has been detained in North Korea since last November. He was tried on April 30, for allegedly committing “hostile acts against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” reportsthe North Korean News Agency.
In a brief dispatch, the state-owned news agency said that the 44-year-old Korean-American tour operator had entered a "special prison" – without elaborating on what the term actually implied.
According to the AP, North Korea has recently released several statements about Pae, and outside analysts have said Pyongyang is likely using him as bait to win diplomatic concessions in a standoff over its nuclear weapons program – although North Korea has denied this.