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North Korea jails American man for six years

Matthew Miller was sentenced to six years prison with hard labour by a North Korean court today. Credit: APTV

A court in North Korea has sentenced US citizen Matthew Miller to six years hard labour for committing "hostile acts" .

The 24-year-old was detained in April after he allegedly tore up his tourist visa at Pyongyang airport and demanded asylum in the secretive state.

In a brief interview with the Associated Press earlier this month, Miller said: “I do not want to go to prison.”

North Korea has yet to announce a trial date for another US citizen Jeffrey Fowle, 56, who was arrested in May this year after he left a bible under the toilet of a sailor's club in the eastern city of Chongjin.

Matthew Miller is led away after being sentenced to six years jail by a North Korean court. Credit: APTV

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North Korea 'fires projectiles' into the sea

North Korea has fired three "short-range projectiles" into the sea, just an hour before Pope Francis arrived in South Korea for an official visit, Associated Press have reported.

An official with the South Korean Defence ministry said the apparent test firing Thursday came less than an hour before rival Seoul welcomed the pope for the first papal visit to South Korea in 25 years.

The official says that the projectiles were fired from Wonsan on the east coast and flew about 220 kilometers (135 miles).

The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing official policy.

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles near Japan

A ballistic missile like the two North Korea fired. Credit: PA

North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles, the Japanese government said.

The missiles were launched between 1.20am and 1.30am local time from somewhere near Kaesong in southwestern North Korea.

They flew about 500 km (310 miles) before splashing into waters separating Japan and the Korean peninsula, Japan's Defence Ministry said.

There were no damages or casualties from the firing but Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: "This is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions."

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American tourists face trial in North Korea

Two American tourists detained in North Korea for "hostile acts" are set to go on trial for committing crimes against the state.

The family of 56-year-old Jeffrey Fowle, a street repairs worker from Ohio who was arrested in May, issued an emotional appeal for his return earlier this month.

Fellow US detainee Matthew Miller was taken into custody in April, the same month he entered the secretive country.

Little is known about the 24-year-old, who state media claims ripped up his tourist visa and demanded asylum when he arrived in the country.

A statement from New Jersey-based travel agency Uri Tours, who booked Miller's trip, said his parents are aware of the situation, but have not spoken publicly about their son's arrest.

North Korea accuses US tourists of 'hostile acts'

The North Korean government says two US tourists detained in the secretive state are guilty of "hostile acts".

Jeffrey Fowle, pictured, has been in custody since May, while Matthew Miller, 24, was reportedly detained in April. Credit: Reuters

Matthew Miller, 24, was reportedly detained in April of this year, while 56-year-old Jeffrey Fowle has been in custody since mid-May.

"Their hostile acts were confirmed by evidence and their own testimonies," said the official KCNA news agency.

Another American citizen, Christian missionary Kenneth Bae, arrested in November 2012, was convicted of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years' hard labour last year.

North Korea fires short-range missiles in 'test fire'

North Korea fired two short-range missiles into its eastern waters, a South Korean official said. The apparent test fire that comes just days after the country tested what it called new precision-guided missiles.

The Seoul defence ministry official said the missiles were fired from Wonsan in Gangwon Province and are presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles.The official said North Korea fired the missiles without designating no-sail zones, which the South Korean military views as a clear provocation.

South Korean media quoted officials as saying the projectiles appeared to be Scud missiles. North Korea regularly test-fires missiles and artillery, both to refine its weapons and to express its anger over various developments in Seoul and Washington.

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