Bloke gets himself arrested on purpose in North Korea to ‘stay in the country

A man who was intentionally arrested in North Korea so he could see a different side of it has spoken out about his experience.

On April 10, 2014, American Matthew Todd Miller, now 33 and from Bakersfield, California allegedly tore up his tourist visa with a view to getting arrested.

He is understood to have been seeking political asylum in the isolationist state and was arrested for “unruly behaviour”.

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"[I] just wanted to have a face-to-face with North Koreans to answer my personal questions,” he toldNK News .

Miller had been hoping for a trip that moved beyond the normal realms of tourist visits to the isolationist state, but the charges he was facing soon escalated.

He was accused of “hostile acts”, reportedly claiming to be a “hacker” with “military secrets” he wanted to share.

According to the outlet, the Supreme Court of the DPRK ruled that he: “Committed acts hostile to the DPRK while entering the territory of the DPRK under the guise of a tourist."

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Korea Central News Agency, a state-run outlet, said he was in possession of a notebook with “confessions” and he also reportedly said he knew military secrets.

Miller was forced to endure six months of incarceration before his sentencing and allegedly said he didn’t want to go back to the USA.

He said: "This might sound strange, but I was prepared for the ‘torture’.

“But instead of that I was killed with kindness, and with that my mind folded and the plan fell apart."

Then, he was slapped with a brutal six years of hard labour under Article 64 of the North Korean criminal code concerning acts of espionage.

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Miller said he: "Achieved my personal goal of seeing more of North Korea. I wanted to connect with the people – not question the government or the politics.

“I have no personal politics. This was not a political trip."

He’s always stayed on the line that he wanted to go and chat to the locals as his driving factor: "I wanted to just every day sit down with them and have conversations about everything.

“I would ask them one question about their country and they would have a question about mine".

He has not spoken about the charges of espionage but did in the end ask the US government for help with his release.

"I was in control of my situation. I knew the risks and consequences. My trip has probably resulted in no change for anyone, except for me.

“I do feel guilt for the crime. It was a crime.

“I wasted a lot of time of the North Koreans’ and the Americans’, of all of the officials who spent time with my case."

He was eventually released in November 2014 after eight months in the country.


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