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N. Korea to Try American for Illegal Entry

Last Updated 8:47 a.m. ET

An American citizen detained by North Korea is to stand trial in that country for illegally entering the country from China, according to Korean media reports.

North Korea on Monday identified the man as Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 30, of Boston.

He has been held since late January.

North Korea's official news agency, KCNA, said the government decided to indict Gomes "as his crime has been confirmed."

Monday's announcement came as regional powers are pushing for North Korea to rejoin international disarmament talks on its nuclear weapons program. The North pulled out of the arms talks last year in protest of international criticism of a rocket launch.

North Korea said in January that it had detained an American man in addition to Korean-American missionary Robert Park but had not identified him until Monday.

In February, the North released Park after 43 days of captivity. The missionary defiantly crossed the border into North Korea on Christmas Day, shouting that he was bringing God's love and carrying a letter urging leader Kim Jong Il to step down from power.

Park's detainment came four months after two American journalists arrested at the border were freed and their 12-year sentences for illegal entry and "hostile acts" were commuted after former President Bill Clinton traveled to Pyongyang and met North Korean leader Kim.

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