North Korea claims sovereign right to ruthlessly punish Americans

A man who identified himself as Kim Dong Chul and said he was a naturalised American citizen attending a news conference in Pyongyang on March 26, 2016.
A man who identified himself as Kim Dong Chul and said he was a naturalised American citizen attending a news conference in Pyongyang on March 26, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS/KCNA

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Thursday (May 11) it was its sovereign right to "ruthlessly punish" American citizens it has detained for crimes against its government system, saying US media's description of such arrests as a bargaining ploy was "pure ignorance."

The North's KCNA news agency said the crimes of recent Americans detained by its authorities will soon be revealed.

Two American citizens affiliated with a private university in the North's capital have been detained in the past month.