N. Korean TV shows another American "confessing"

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea has presented another American detainee before the media, nine days after it sentenced a U.S. tourist to 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion.

Kim Dong Chul told a press conference in Pyongyang on Friday that he had committed acts of espionage that were attempts to undermine North Korea's leadership.

He said he was detained last October.

North Korean authorities often arrange press conferences for U.S. and other foreign detainees in which they read statements to acknowledge their wrongdoing and praise the North's political system. Those detainees have said after their releases that they were coached or coerced on what to say.

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A man who identified himself as Kim Dong Chul, previously said he was a naturalised American citizen and was arrested in North Korea in October, attends a news conference in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo, March 25, 2016.
REUTERS

Kim apologized for "receiving a USB and documents, which contained nuclear secrets and details regarding the internal situation of this country (North Korea), from a person I bribed," and asked forgiveness, promising if he was pardoned he would go on to "wage a campaign to make the world know good things about this country."

CNN first reported Dong Chul's arrest in January. In an interview with a CNN correspondent, Kim said he was a naturalized U.S. citizen and had traveled extensively in recent years between China and North Korea and had made some trips to South Korea as well.

The U.S. State Department refused to confirm the story at the time, and has made no official mention of Kim since.

A State Department official said in January that "speaking publicly about specific purported cases of detained Americans can complicate our tireless efforts to secure their freedom."

CNN displayed Kim's U.S. passport and said he had lived in China for many years, but also had resided in Fairfax, Virginia.

Last week, North Korea's highest court sentenced American student Otto Warmbier to prison after he confessed he tried to steal a propaganda banner.