North Korea said on Saturday that it would put a US citizen on trial for committing crimes against the state.
The move, which comes amid military tensions with the Seoul and the US over the tightening of sanctions is only likely to increase hostilities.
Kenneth Bae was part of a tourist trip to North Korea in the northeastern city of Rajin last November. The 44-year old of Korean descent has been held since then.
The country’s official news agency said he’d admitted to crimes aiming to topple the state and that they had evidence to prove this.
Former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson joined Google delegates on a trip to Pyongyang in January and delivered a letter concerning Bae to officials, but was unable to meet him in person.
With no US embassy in Pyongyang and few channels of communication between the two countries, the US has in the past often turned to less official means of conducting affairs.