Korean-American Marks One Year in Detention

  • VOA News

    November 05, 2013 08:18

    U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae is marking one year of detention in North Korea. The Korean-American missionary, detained last November 3, was later convicted of state subversion and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

    The 45-year-old Christian missionary was detained after entering North Korea as a tour operator. His family says he has diabetes and is in ill health.

    Image of Kenneth Bae, published by Japanese newspaper Choson Sinbo, as he works on a farm with a North Korean guard watching in June 2013.

    Five other U.S. citizens detained since 2009 were eventually allowed to leave North Korea following visits by prominent Americans, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

    North Korea rescinded an offer in August to allow senior U.S. envoy Robert King to visit Pyongyang to petition for Bae's release on humanitarian grounds. Officials said the visit was canceled because of annual joint U.S.-South Korean military drills being held in the South.

    He was visited last month by his mother, Bae Myung-hee, who has pleaded with Washington to do everything in its power to free him.

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