Held by North Korea, Kenneth Bae feels abandoned by U.S., report says
Arrested in November 2012, Kenneth Bae, a Christian and American citizen, has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for unspecified hostile acts. After being detained for two years, Bae’s health is deteriorating and his family calls for “urgent action” from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
07/31/2014 Seoul, South Korea (CNN) — Kenneth Bae, an American citizen detained in North Korea for almost two years, said he feels like the U.S. government has abandoned him, according to a pro-North Korea newspaper.
Bae gave an interview to Choson Sinbo, a newspaper based in Japan, which has been given access to Bae in the past.
The newspaper published a picture of Bae wearing a blue prison garment in an interview that it said took place on July 30.
Bae said that he heard the U.S. government is doing everything it can to have him released and thanked the American and North Korean government for allowing him to speak to his family over the phone and for medical treatment.
A written family statement acknowledged the U.S. State Department’s work behind the scenes, but called for “urgent action” from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry because of his Bae’s health.
“With Kenneth’s health continuing to deteriorate, we cannot afford to wait any longer,” the family said. “Please do whatever it takes to bring Kenneth home. It is long past time. This is our desperate plea.”
Friday is his 42nd birthday, the family said.
There is no sign of this issue being solved, according to the paper. The United States is working with Sweden, which represents American interests in North Korea.
Bae said he is suffering from several health problems and is worried that his condition will worsen when he returns to a special labor camp soon. Bae was readmitted to a hospital in Pyongyang in March.