Family gravely concerned for man detained in North Korea

The Rev. Jesse Jackson joins growing number of people calling for release of Kenneth Bae
Associated Press
Feb 10, 2014

 

The family of a Washington state man imprisoned in North Korea for more than a year expressed alarm and sadness Monday after an invitation was cancelled for a U.S. envoy to visit the country and discuss Kenneth Bae's release.

Terri Chung, Bae's sister, said in a statement, however, that relatives are encouraged by a growing number of people — including the Rev. Jesse Jackson — calling for her brother's freedom.

"It has been 474 days since Kenneth has been detained in the DPRK," the statement said, referencing the nation's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "Kenneth is just an ordinary American father of three who is desperately trying to return to his family."

The statement continued, imploring U.S. and North Korean leaders "to work together to let this U.S. citizen come home to his family."

The 45-year-old from Lynnwood, who had been living in China for seven years, was taken into custody in November 2012 while leading a tour group into a North Korean economic zone.

The cancellation, announced by the State Department on Sunday, comes only days after a detained Bae told a pro-Pyongyang newspaper that he expected to meet this month with U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights issues, Bob King.

The move signals an apparent protest of upcoming annual military drills between Washington, D.C., and Seoul, South Korea. North Korean officials also say the U.S. has mobilized nuclear-capable B-52 bombers during training near the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea calls the planned drills a rehearsal for invasion, a claim the allies deny.

The State Department said Jackson, the civil rights leader, has offered to travel to North Korea at the request of Bae's family. The State Department did not elaborate and referred questions to Jackson, whose spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Analysts say North Korea has previously used detained Americans as leverage in its standoff with the U.S. over its nuclear and missile programs; North Korea denies this.

The North accused Bae of smuggling in inflammatory literature and trying to establish a base for anti-government activities at a border city hotel.

Chung says Bae's Christian faith got him into trouble.

In August, North Korea also rescinded an invitation for King to visit, saying Washington had perpetrated a grave provocation by flying B-52 bombers during military drills with South Korea.

Chung said Friday that her family learned from the State Department that her brother had been taken back to a labor camp from a hospital where he had been treated after losing 50 pounds.

On Monday, Chung said in the statement that his family is "gravely concerned that the stress Kenneth endures at the labor camp will be too much for him."

 

Comments

donutshopguy

Where is Dennis Rodman when you need him? Isn't he and the leader of North Korea best basketball buds?

gene44870

With all the unrest in the world today and really in Korea one would think that you would want to avoid this area .People remember that we do not have a peace treaty from the war back in the 50s which one could say we are still at war with them .No we are not shooting at each other but we still could .Just a little food for thought if anyone wants to travel to this area .I know you would could not go to this area unless I had the support f the U.S Armed forces right in front of me

Contango

Wrong-headed American progressives continue to naively fail to see where their command and control, top-down political philosophy ultimately leads.

Never say: It can’t happen here.

The Big Dog's back

pooh, just because you repeat that Progressive lie thing, doesn't mean it's true.

Contango

Only to those like yourself that are ignorant of History, derpy.

The Big Dog's back

So, was Raygun a Progressive?

Contango

Re: "Raygun,"

No, a raygun is a 'beam of light weapon' portrayed in old sci-fi movies, derpy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raygun

deertracker

Anyone have an issue with Rev. Jackson trying to get this man freed?

Darwin's choice

Nope. Maybe they'll keep him....

Contango

Re: "Rev. Jackson,"

Word of caution:

It was common knowledge in Chicago, that you NEVER got in between the Rev. and a camera; he'd run you over.