A North Korean high court has sentenced two U.S. journalists to 12 years of hard labor for illegally crossing the country''s border, North Korea''s state KCNA news agency reported on Monday.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were working on a story near the China-North Korea border for U.S. television company Current TV, were arrested in March. The San Francisco-based company was founded by co-former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

"The trial confirmed the grave crime they committed against the Korean nation," KCNA reported, adding that the court "sentenced each of them to 12 years of reform through labor."

The women cannot appeal as they were tried in North Korea''s highest court.