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US calls for North Korea amnesty for sentenced American
ICC Note:
In the midst of debate as to why Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Christian, was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea the U.S. has stepped in and called for amnesty.
5/2/2013 North Korea (FoxNews)- The U.S. called Thursday for North Korea to grant amnesty and immediately release a Korean-American sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor for “hostile acts” against the state.
Kenneth Bae, 44, a Washington state man described by friends as a devout Christian and a tour operator, is at least the sixth American detained in North Korea since 2009. The others eventually were deported or released without serving out their terms, some after trips to Pyongyang by prominent Americans, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Analysts say Bae’s sentencing could be an effort by Pyongyang to win diplomatic concessions in the ongoing standoff over its nuclear program. But there was no immediate sign a high-profile envoy was about to make a clemency mission to the isolated nation which has taken an increasingly confrontational stance under its young leader Kim Jong Un.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the U.S. was still seeking to learn the facts of Bae’s case. He said the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which handles consular matters there for the U.S., did not attend Tuesday’s Supreme Court trial and that there hasn’t been transparency in the legal proceedings.

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