SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it has sentenced a South Korean missionary to hard labor for life for allegedly trying to set up underground churches and spying.

North Korea said the man was arrested last October after crossing into the country from China. North Korean media said Saturday that the Baptist missionary had a trial Friday.

North Korea called the man Kim Jong Uk but he is called Kim Jung Wook in the South.

Kim appeared on North Korean TV in February. He said he received assistance from South Korea’s intelligence agency and apologized for committing “anti-state” crimes.

South Korea has denied any spy links to Kim. In the past, North Korean authorities have held staged news conferences where detainees are presented before the media to make statements that they later recant.